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Mortgage Rates Increases Slightly

Mortgage rates, or interest rates on home loans, slightly increased this week, according to mortgage provider Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB).

Releasing the results of its primary mortgage market survey, Freddie Mac said that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage or FRM averaged 3.49 percent for the week ending February 20, 2019, up from 3.47 last week. A year ago at this time, the average rate was 4.35 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.99 percent, up from 2.97 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.78 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage or ARM averaged 3.25 percent, down from 3.28 percent last week. It was 3.84 percent a year ago.

"The low mortgage rate environment continues to spur homebuying activity, with applications to purchase a home up fifteen percent from a year ago," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's Chief Economist. "We've seen new residential construction surge over the last few months, on pace to reach the highest level in more than a decade. This is a good sign for the inventory-starved housing market and is a promising indication for the spring homebuying season."

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