Unlike the rampaging stock market, mortgage rates are in a holding pattern, with lenders offering the 30-year fixed loan this week at an average 3.52%, up from 3.51% last week, Freddie Mac said in its weekly survey.
The interest rate on a 15-year fixed loan, a popular choice for borrowers refinancing mortgages, held steady at 2.76%, Freddie said Thursday. Borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan amount in upfront fees to the lender.
The Dow Jones industrial average, which set new highs Tuesday and Wednesday, was up again Thursday morning on news that initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped again last week and are near a post-Great Recession low.
The improvement in the economy is still too slow to trigger fears of a surge in prices, which could send interest rates higher.
“With gross domestic product growing only 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, inflation remains at bay and consequently mortgage rates low,” Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said in announcing the latest rate survey.