Mar 24, 2013

U.S. mortgage rates hold steady

Long- and short-term mortgage rates saw little change this week, but they remain below year-ago levels.

A 30-year fixed-rate averages 4.88 percent this week, up from 4.87 percent last week. A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 4.95 percent.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.15 percent, unchanged from last week.

A one-year adjustable rate fell to 3.21 percent from 3.23 percent.

Mortgage applications jumped nearly 16 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as potential buyers and existing homeowners continue to try to lock in rates before they rise. Applications to refinance rose 17.2 percent while purchase applications rose 12.5 percent, to the highest level of the year.

“An improving job market is beginning to pave the way for an improving housing market,” said MBA vice president of research Michael Fratantoni.

Low mortgage rates have continued to help nudge housing sales higher nationwide. However, home sales in Dayton have continued to lag and dropped 5 percent in 2010.

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