30-year fixed mortgage rates chart
updated 3/25/2010 11:55:13 AM ET 2010-03-25T15:55:13

Mortgage rates moved slightly higher but remained just below 5 percent this week, as a Federal Reserve program that has maintained rates near record lows prepares to end.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage inched up to 4.99 percent this week from 4.96 percent last week, mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said Thursday.

Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to a record low of 4.71 percent in December and have hovered around 5 percent since. Rates have been kept down by the Fed's $1.25 trillion program to buy up mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae.

The Fed's program is set to end March 31. Some analysts fear that mortgage rates could rise once the program ends, weakening the fragile recovery in housing and the overall economy.

Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day, often in line with long-term Treasury bonds.

This week, the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.34 percent, up a bit from 4.33 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.14 percent, up from 4.09 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.20 percent from 4.12 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.

The nationwide fee for the four loans in Freddie Mac's survey averaged 0.6 of a point.

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Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 2.78%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.78%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.54%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.57%
13.57%
Cash Back Cards 17.91%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.15%
17.15%
Source: Bankrate.com