The Morning Report
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When it comes to mortgages, the big story has been the ongoing tightening in underwriting guidelines. However, even those who weren’t hoping for one of those ever-popular “exotic” loans have found getting a mortgage to be a bit less inviting than it was at the start of the year.

After declining for the better part of a year, rates on both fixed and adjustable-rate mortages have surged since May. Fixed rates are almost as high as they were in mid-2006, at which time they were higher than they’d been since 2002. The same goes for adjustable rates, except that they are about as high as they’ve been since 2001.

The 1-year Treasury rate, which is sometimes used as a basis to calculate the new rates on resetting mortgages, remains well below its high of last year. However, it is still quite a bit higher than it was during the bulk of the housing boom. The current 4.9 percent rate compares to an average of 3.6 percent in 2005 and only 1.9 percent in 2004. Borrowers whose adjustable-rate mortgages are resetting after two- or three-year fixed periods will likely see a substantial increase in monthly payments.


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