Mortgage Rates Rise Slightly

Mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed rate loan rose slightly for the third week in a row, while rates on adjustable mortgages set new all-time lows, according to Freddie Mac. Rates on the most popular 30-year mortgage experienced a rise to 4.24% with an average of 0.8 points for the week, up from 4.23% a week earlier.

The average on a 15-year rate mortgage hit 3.63% down from 3.66%, according to the Freddie Mac survey, which is the oldest in the lending industry. Rates have been at or near historic lows since last April as the Federal Reserve keeps its primary lending rate at .25% for banks and other lending institutions.

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The Fed escalated efforts Wednesday to get the U.S. economy back on track and out of its worst decline since at least the Great Depression, announcing plans to pump $600-billion into the financial system by buying bonds and other securities. The moves could represent the nation’s best hopes yet for pulling the U.S. economy out of its long standing turmoil with the highest unemployment levels in decades.

“The core price index for personal expenditures, a gauge closely followed by the Federal Reserve, rose 1.1% over the 12-months ending in September,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft, “and represented the smallest increase since September 2001.”

The Fed’s approach to handling problems with the U.S. economy holds risks, but the efforts are being made after Fed policymakers studied the likelihood for any advancement on economic issues since the new Congress was just elected. Few efforts by members of Congress are given any chance of being passed in relationship to the housing and financial mess with the new Congress expected to be held in deadlocks at many turns.