Mortgage rates edged higher for a second week, with Freddie Mac's weekly survey showing that lenders were offering conventional 30-year loans at an average 3.76%, up from 3.69% last week.
This year's low point came the first week of February, when Freddie's widely watched survey showed the average rate for 30-year fixed loans had sunk to 3.59%.
The latest survey, released Thursday, pegged the average for a 15-year fixed home loan at 3.05%, up from 2.99%. The start rate for adjustable loans that are fixed for the first five years was unchanged at 2.97%.
The low rates have stoked the latest round of a series of refinance booms in recent years as homeowners seek to lock in cheap long-term funds.
No-cost loans, which don't require borrowers to pay lender fees, discount points or charges for appraisals and title insurance, recently dropped to rates as low as 3.625% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, said Laguna Niguel loan broker Jeff Lazerson.
The rate has since risen to 4% for the no-cost mortgages but borrowers who pay all third-party charges plus a point -- 1% of the loan amount -- can still get a 30-year fixed loan at 3.625%, Lazerson said.
Freddie Mac asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers seeking mortgages up to $417,000 that conform to guidelines set by Freddie and Fannie Mae, the other mortgage finance giant.
The borrowers would have paid a little more than half of 1% of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the fixed-rate loans. Payments for such services as appraisals and title insurance are not included.
The survey provides a consistent gauge of mortgage trends, but actual rates may change rapidly and are influenced by many factors, including the credit scores, debt loads and downpayments of borrowers.
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