Long-term mortgages rates dipped this week as weak home-builder optimism and lower housing starts took pressure off inflation, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported today. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sank to an average 6.69 percent from 6.74 percent last week, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 6.37 percent from 6.43 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also became slightly more affordable this week, with the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM falling to 6.31 percent from 6.37 percent and the one-year ARM down from 5.75 percent to 5.66 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.6 and 0.7, respectively. "Mortgage rates eased this week due to market concerns that the housing market will be a longer drag on the economy," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a ...
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