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Mortgages end 2011 with positive numbers

According to Freddie Mac, mortgages ended 2011 on a high note.

According to Freddie Mac, mortgages ended 2011 on a high note.

With the price of mortgages being at the forefront of the recent housing market debate, Freddie Mac recently released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey that showed the housing market ended 2011 on a positive note.

The average mortgage rate increased to 3.98 percent, which was a contrast to the previous three weeks' trend of all-time record lows. Despite the positive jump, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained below 4 percent for the eighth consecutive week.

"New construction of one-family homes rose 4.4 percent in December to an annualized rate of 470,000, the most since April 2010," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. "Existing home sales increased 5 percent at the end of the year to 4.61 million houses, the largest amount since May 2010. Furthermore, pending home sales in November and December averaged the highest reading since the March and April 2010 period."

Last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.8 percent and the 15-year FRM averaged 4.1 percent.

Along with the FRM improving, U.S. home sales increased in December 2011, reporting a 5 percent raise when compared with figures from a year ago, showing that Americans are packing up and moving into their dream homes.