Industry News

Falling oil prices stabilize real estate rates

Katrina's destruction poised to slow economy

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Long-term mortgage rates held steady this week as oil prices dropped, according to surveys conducted by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. In Freddie Mac's survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.71 percent for the week ended today, unchanged from last week. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped slightly to 5.3 percent, down from last week's 5.32 percent average. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.6. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.24 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.3 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.45 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.48 percent. "We expect that near-term growth will now be a bit weaker than had been anticipated, due in very large part to the disruption in economic activity brought on by Katrina last week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Fre...