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Average fixed mortgage rates are reaching new highs for the year with the expectant release of the Fed’s comments around taper timing of its bond purchase program, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.

“Fixed mortgage rates continued to follow bond yields higher leading up to the August 21st release of the Federal Reserve monetary policy committee’s minutes for July,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “In its July 30th and 31st meetings, the committee members were broadly comfortable with a plan to start reducing its bond purchases later this year, although a few emphasized the importance of being patient.”

“Meeting participants acknowledged mortgage rate increases might restrain housing market activity, but several members expressed confidence the housing recovery would be resilient in the face of higher rates, Nothaft continues. “In fact, existing home sales increased in July to the strongest pace since November 2009 and homebuilder confidence in August rose to its highest reading since November 2005. Both increases occurred after mortgage rates had risen from their spring-time lows.”

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.58 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending August 22, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 4.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 3.60 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.89 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.21 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.80 percent.

1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.67 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.66 percent.

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