Mortgage rates fell for the second consecutive week following November’s disappointing employment report, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.68 percent for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.71 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.11 percent, down as well from last week when it averaged 5.14 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.6.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.18 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when they averaged 4.15 percent.

“The Commerce Department report on housing starts showed a considerable drop in starts in November,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “However, with December’s mortgage rates continuing to dip even further, we expect housing starts will bounce back fairly quickly.

“There is no doubt now that 2004 will be a record year for single-family construction. That said, because of low mortgage rates, we feel confident that 2005 will not be very far behind this year.”

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

New York – 5.73 percent with 0.1 point

Los Angeles – 5.74 percent with 0.5 point

Chicago – 5.77 percent with no points

San Francisco – 5.73 percent with 0.31 point

Philadelphia – 5.64 percent with 0.31 point

Detroit – 5.66 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 5.78 percent with 0.03 point

Houston – 5.62 percent with 0.7 point

Dallas – 5.69 percent with 0.45 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.56 percent with 0.56 point


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