Long-term mortgage rates dropped for the sixth consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.57 percent, with an average 0.8 points, for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.63 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has not been this low since the week ending April 1, 2004, when it averaged 5.52 percent.

The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.1 percent, with an average 0.7 points, down from last week when it averaged 5.14 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.99 percent this week, with an average 0.7 points, down very slightly from 5 percent last week. There is no annual historical information for last year since Freddie Mac began tracking this mortgage rate at the start of this year.

The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.11 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.23 percent.

“January’s employment figures came out lower than expected, allowing bond yields to fall even further. This, in turn, caused mortgage rates to perform somewhat differently than we had expected,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “In particular, the 1-year ARM fell for the first time in five weeks.

“According to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have not risen above 6 percent in at least six months, which has helped to keep the housing market bustling. As a matter of fact, we are forecasting that long-term mortgage rates will average only about 6 percent for the 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 – 5.63 percent with 0.14 point

Los Angeles – 5.65 percent with 0.43 point

Chicago – 5.65 percent with 0.02 point

San Francisco – 5.63 percent with 0.23 point

Philadelphia – 5.52 percent with 0.29 point

Detroit – 5.57 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 5.62 percent with no points

Houston – 5.56 percent with 0.59 point

Dallas – 5.57 percent with 0.42 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.48 percent with 0.53 point

***

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