Mortgage rates declined for the second consecutive week, boosting the outlook for new- and existing-home sales, according to Freddie Mac weekly mortgage survey.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.64 percent for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.69 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.01 percent, also down from last week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.7.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.96 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when they averaged 4.02 percent.

“Home sales are very sensitive to mortgage rates,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. “Low mortgage rates drove the uptick in sales during September. And with mortgage rates at their lowest level in six months, home sales should continue strong through the autumn months.

“Our latest forecast expects a brisk housing industry through year-end. Single-family building is likely to remain strong this quarter, as evidenced by the pace of recent new-home sales. Overall, the economy remains supportive of both new and existing homes.”

The following is a sampling of Bankrate’s average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas.

New York – 5.68 percent with 0.1 point

Los Angeles – 5.72 percent with 0.47 point

Chicago – 5.7 percent with 0.05 point

San Francisco – 5.71 percent with 0.3 point

Philadelphia – 5.57 percent with 0.31 point

Detroit – 5.59 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 5.76 percent with no points

Houston – 5.63 percent with 0.68 point

Dallas – 5.67 percent with 0.43 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.53 percent with 0.55 point

***

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