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Real estate rates slide on retail news

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Long-term mortgage rates fell this week on news that retail sales plummeted in February, making inflation less of a concern, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.34 percent for the week ended today, down from last week's average of 6.37 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed loan is 5.98 percent, down from last week's average of 6 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.7. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.93 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 6.03 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.37 percent, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.45 percent. "Financial markets, hedging against the potential build up in inflation, pushed mortgage rates higher last week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "However, market i...