Mortgage Rates Edge Down After Five Weeks of Gains

Rates on fixed mortgages dipped after rising for five weeks in a row.


Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage slipped to 4.81 percent from 4.83 percent in the previous week. Last month, the rate reached a 40-year low of 4.17 percent, but has since been edging higher.

The average rate on the 15-year loan also fell to 4.15 percent from 4.17 percent. It hit 3.57 percent in November, the lowest level on records starting in 1991.

Rates had been rising since early November as investors took money out of Treasurys. Traders expect the recent tax-cut plan will boost economic growth and potentially increase inflation.

Yields tend to rise on fears of higher inflation. Mortgage rates track the yields on the 10-year Treasury note.