WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rates on 30-year mortgages rose for a fifth straight week, hitting the highest level in 11 months as prospects dimmed further for possible rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.74% this week. That was up from 6.53% last week and marked the biggest one-week rise in 30-year rates in more than three years.
The five consecutive increases have pushed 30-year mortgages to their highest level since they were at 6.80% for the week ending July 20, 2006.
``Mortgage rates moved sharply upward this week,'' said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. ``These moves parallel rising yields on Treasury securities as concerns about inflation pressures and continuing strength of consumer and business spending have dimmed hopes for an interest rate cut.''
The benchmark 10-year Treasury bond hit a five-year high of 5.295% on Tuesday, sending tremors through Wall Street as investors worried that rising interest rates could further depress the housing sector and also harm corporate profits.
All mortgage rates tracked by Freddie Mac showed increases this week.
Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, rose to 6.43%, up from 6.22% last week.
Five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.37% , up from 6.24%.
One-year, adjustable mortgages rose to 5.75%, up from 5.65% last week.
The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year and 15-year mortgages each carried a nationwide average fee of 0.4 point. Five-year, adjustable mortgages carried a fee of 0.5 point while one-year ARMs had a fee of 0.7 point.
A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.63%, 15-year mortgages were at 6.25%, five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.23% and one-year ARMs were at 5.66%.