Industry News

Mortgage rates fall on housing concerns

Construction, sales, credit have markets on edge

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Long-term mortgage rates dropped this week as concerns over the housing market's recovery intensified, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported in separate surveys. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sank to an average 6.69 percent from last week's 6.73 percent, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 6.37 percent from 6.38 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30- and 15-year loans. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) costs also dropped this week, with the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM falling from 6.35 percent to 6.3 percent and the one-year ARM slipping from 5.72 percent to 5.69 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.4 and 0.5, respectively. "Mortgage rates eased this week on market concerns that a further weakening of housing demand this spring will delay any recovery in the sector," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. "...