MC LEAN, Va. – For the first time in more than six months, the30-year fixed mortgage rate topped 6%. The average rate paid on a30-year loan the week of Oct. 10 was 6.03%, up from 5.98% theprevious week. A year ago, Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-yearfixed rate mortgage averaged 5.74%. Freddie Mac Chief EconomistFrank Nothaft pointed the finger at “solid economic growth” as thecause of the rate hike. “That acceleration of growth, coupled withthe specter of higher energy costs, will translate into higherlong-term mortgage rates in the coming months,” he said. The rateon the 15-year fixed mortgage is also going up. The week of Oct. 10it was at 5.62%, up from the previous week's 5.54% and last year's5.14%.

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