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by CareyBot

A disappointing December for retail sales helped push mortgage rates lower this week, with rates on 30- and 15-year fixed mortgages down to their lowest levels since July 2005, Freddie Mac reported today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped 18 basis points in the last week, from 5.87 percent to 5.69 percent, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage tumbled 22 basis points, from 5.43 percent to 5.21 percent. Points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.5 and 0.4, respectively, on the 30- and 15-year loans. Freddie Mac reported that average rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also declined, with the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM falling from 5.63 percent to 5.4 percent and the one-year ARM dropping from 5.3...