Long-term mortgage rates fell further this week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.74 percent for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.77 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.19 percent, down from last week when it averaged 5.21 percent. Points on the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.6.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.05 percent this week, with an average 0.5 points. Last week, the five-year ARM averaged 5.03 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.1 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week.

“The onset of 2005 bodes well for the housing industry. Long-term mortgage rates are currently below 6 percent. Although we expect mortgage rates to end the year a bit higher, they still provide a historic value to borrowers considering how over the past 30 years fixed-rate mortgages have averaged about 9.5 percent,” said Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts.

“One wrinkle in our forecast would be the emergence of unexpected inflation. At the end of this week and next, new inflation indicators will be released for the month of December. As it stands now, the market expects these releases to be tame, if not, mortgage rates will rise more quickly in response,” added Crews Cutts.

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

New York – 5.8 percent with 0.13 point

Los Angeles – 5.79 percent with 0.58 point

Chicago – 5.81 percent with 0.03 point

San Francisco – 5.8 percent with 0.35 point

Philadelphia – 5.69 percent with 0.25 point

Detroit – 5.7 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 5.82 percent with 0.03 point

Houston – 5.77 percent with 0.78 point

Dallas – 5.78 percent with 0.47 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.66 percent with 0.63 point

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