30-year fixed mortgage rates chart
updated 6/3/2004 4:56:26 PM ET 2004-06-03T20:56:26

Rates on 30-year and 15-year mortgages dipped this week but are up sharply from where they stood a year ago, a main reason behind the slowdown in home-mortgage refinancings.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that rates on benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages declined to 6.28 percent, down from 6.32 percent last week, according to the mortgage giant’s nationwide survey of rates. This time a year ago, however, rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 5.26 percent.

Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell this week to 5.63 percent, compared with 5.69 percent last week. A year ago, rates on 15-year mortgages averaged 4.66 percent.

For one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages, rates rose to 3.98 percent, from 3.87 percent last week. At this time last year, rates on one-year ARMs were at 3.59 percent.

“With long-term mortgage rates higher than last year, those still looking to refinance for lower rates may want to take a look at ARMs and hybrid products as they continue to offer terms that are low and attractive,” said Freddie Mac’s chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Currently, for new mortgages, all ARM products make up about one-third of the market.”

The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year and 15-year mortgages each carried an average fee of 0.7 point this week, while one-year ARMs carried an average fee of 0.6 point.

With the economy moving solidly ahead, economists predict mortgage rates will slowly rise in the coming months. According to some projections, rates on 30-year mortgages could reach 6.4 percent or 6.6 percent by the final quarter of this year.

Still, some economists believe home sales this year will come in close to, or possibly even surpass, the record highs seen in 2003, when ultra-low mortgage rates beckoned to buyers.

The recent rise in mortgages, however, is slowing refinancing activity. Refinancings accounted for just 34.3 percent of total mortgage loan applications filed last week, down from 36.2 percent in the previous week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

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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 4.93%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.20%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.58%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.13%
17.11%
Source: Bankrate.com