Mortgage rates edged higher this week despite the government's announcement of plunging home sales.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed five basis points to 4.96 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also climbed four basis points this week…to its current rate of 4.16 percent.
However, the average rate on a 30-year jumbo mortgage slipped one basis point, to 5.45 percent.
On Wednesday, the government reported that just 19,000 new single-family homes were sold in the entire country in February.
Although poor home sales are sometimes attributed to weather, the latest report suggested the climate wasn't to blame. The February figure was down 16 percent from January, and off 28 percent from February of 2010.
The median sales price for a new home was off by nearly 14 percent, to just over two-hundred and two-thousand dollars…. a level last seen in 2003.
Of course if you're in the market to purchase a home…it's important to shop for the best interest rates. You can do that by visiting Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.