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by CareyBot

Home-price growth has slowed in Freddie Mac's quarterly national Conventional Home Price Index released today, adding to evidence the nation's housing market is cooling. Freddie Mac's home-price-growth index rose 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter on an annualized basis, down from a revised third-quarter-2005 annualized rate of 13.4 percent and a second-quarter-2005 growth rate of 15.4 percent. "Mortgage rates rose sharply in the fourth quarter and we are starting to see marked slowing in the rate of home-price appreciation," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. The monthly average for fixed-rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose about one-half of a percentage point between September and December, he said. Rates on one-year ARMs also increased...