Mortgage rates fell for the second consecutive week as disappointing home sales and consumer confidence cast doubt on the strength of the economy, Freddie Mac reported today in its weekly survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to an average 6.16 percent from 6.17 percent last week, Freddie Mac reported, and the 15-year fixed rate sank from 5.89 percent to 5.87 percent. Points, which are fees lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) became slightly more affordable this week, as the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM fell to an average 5.88 percent from last week’s 5.92 percent and the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM slipped from 5.45 percent to 5.43 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.7 percent.

“Recent economic data releases showing weaker existing-home sales in March, coupled with lower consumer confidence in April, caused the market to pause and re-evaluate the potential growth of the economy this year,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “This allowed all mortgage rates to decline slightly this week.”

Nothaft added that mortgage rates have been fairly stable this year, with interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages staying within a range of 15-20 basis points.

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

New York – 6.25 percent with 0.04 point

Los Angeles – 6.29 percent with 0.38 point

Chicago – 6.4 percent with 0.06 point

San Francisco – 6.23 percent with 0.43 point

Philadelphia – 6.27 percent with 0.17 point

Detroit – 6.3 percent with 0.03 point

Boston – 6.34 percent with 0.04 point

Houston – 6.24 percent with 0.42 point

Dallas – 6.15 percent with 0.45 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.21 percent with 0.39 point

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