News Column

Mortgage Rates Dip but Remain Higher Than a Year Ago

July 3, 2013

Mortgage rates ticked down this week following last week's big jump, but are still much higher than a year ago, Freddie Mac reported Wednesday.

The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate conforming loan was 4.29 percent this week, down from last week's 4.46 percent. A year ago, the average rate was 3.62 percent.

On a 15-year mortgage loan, this week's average rate of 3.39 percent compares with last week's 3.5 percent and 2.89 percent a year ago.

"Fixed mortgage rates fell over the holiday week as market concerns over the timing of the Federal Reserve's pullback in bond purchases eased somewhat," said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft in a news release.

Last week's big jump in rates crimped consumers' desire to secure a mortgage, as overall applications fell 11.7 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance current mortgage loans fell 16 percent during the week that ended June 28, to the lowest level since July 2011. Loan applications to buy a home fell 3 percent.

mepodmolik@tribune.com -- Twitter @mepodmolik

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