Mortgage rates rose as conflict with Iraq neared

March 23, 2003|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON — U.S. mortgage rates rose last week from record lows as war with Iraq moved closer, according to Freddie Mac, the No. 2 buyer of mortgages. The increase may be limited by concerns about the war's duration, the lender said.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose for the first time in nine weeks, reaching 5.79 percent. That compares with a record-low 5.61 percent the prior week. The group began keeping records in 1971.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, increased to 5.11 percent from 4.93 percent. The average rate on a one-year adjustable rate mortgage rose to 3.75 percent from 3.68 percent last week that was the lowest on record.

Last week's rate on a 30-year mortgage would put the average monthly payment on a $100,000 loan, including principal and interest with 1 point, at $586.12, down from $674.73 a year ago, when the rate was 7.14 percent.

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