Long-term mortgage rates this week fell on news of falling industrial production and consumer sentiment, Freddie Mac reported today. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan sank to 5.98 percent from last week's 6.01 percent, well below the year-ago average of 6.37 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Rates on 15-year fixed loans dipped to 5.55 percent from 5.6 percent, much lower than the 6.06 percent reported a year ago. To qualify for these rates, borrowers must pay points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, which this week averaged 0.5 and 0.6, respectively, on the 30- and 15-year loans. "Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages fell slightly this week on news of both weaker industrial production in April and consumer sentiment falling in May to its lowest level since June 1980," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, in a prepared statement. "ARM rates, however, rose slightly on market f...
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