Industry News

Oil prices sink mortgage rates

But relief more a fluctuation than a trend

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Long-term mortgage rates fell this week as high oil prices and weak retail sales hinted at possible economic weakness, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.8 percent for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.89 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.4 percent, down from last week when it averaged 5.47 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.5. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.34 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.4 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.58 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up very slightly from last week when it averaged 4.57 percent. "Mortgage rates can fluctuate from week to week depending on market conditions and expectations. That is probably what happened this week," said Frank Notha...