Freddie Mac's Weekly Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed rate mortgages, the benchmark indicator, topped 6 percent for the first time since July, 2004 during the week ended March 24, 2005.

The 30-year rate was 6.01 percent, up from 5.95 percent the previous week. The 15-year was 5.56 percent, up .09 percent. Adjustable rates also climbed, but more modestly: both the 5/1 and the 1-year ARM were up .04 percent to 5.35 and 4.24 percent respectively.

Both fixed rate categories were up 22 basis points since the beginning of the month.

Points and fees were unchanged across the board at .07 for both fixed rate categories and the 5/1 ARM and 0.8 for the 1-year.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported higher rates than Freddie: the 30-year was at an average of 6.08 percent (from 5.95) and the 15-year at 5.61 percent, up from 5.49 percent for the week ending March 18. MBA reported that the 1-year ARM increased to 4.39 percent from 4.12 a week earlier.

MBA also reported a record high ARM share for the week, both in terms of the number of loans and the dollar volumes. ARMs represented 36.6 percent of total loan applications, up 3.1 points from the previous week.

Mortgage applications continue at a healthy pace. The MBA's Market Composite Index which measures applications increased 2.4 percent on both a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis last week. It was, however, down over 36 percent from the same week in 2004.