Mortgage rates move slightly higher but remain near record lows

After tumbling to historic lows throughout the month, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rebounded slightly heading into the new year.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average ticked up to 2.67% with an average 0.7 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 2.66% a week ago and 3.72% a year ago, The Washington Post reports. 

Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, aggregates rates from around 80 lenders across the country to come up with weekly national average mortgage rates. It uses rates for high-quality borrowers with strong credit scores and large down payments. These rates are not available to every borrower.

Because the survey is based on home purchase mortgages, rates for refinances may be different. This is especially true since the price adjustment for refinance transactions went into effect earlier this month. The adjustment is 0.5% of the loan amount (e.g., it is $1,500 on a $300,000 loan) and applies to all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinances.

The 15-year fixed-rate average slipped to a record low, sinking to 2.17% with an average 0.7 point. It was 2.19%t a week ago and 3.16% a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average also dropped, falling to 2.71%with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.79% a week ago and 3.46% a year ago. Read the full story.