Long-term mortgage rates slid further this week on cooler July home sales and waning consumer confidence, Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com reported today.

In Freddie Mac’s survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to an average 6.45 percent from last week’s 6.52 percent, and the 15-year fixed was down to 6.12 percent from 6.18 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.

The story was a bit different for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), however, on which rates this week rose by about “a quarter of a percent,” Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement.

The average rate on the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM inched up to 6.35 percent from last week’s 6.34 percent, while the one-year hybrid ARM climbed to 5.84 percent from 5.6 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Points on these loans averaged 0.6 and 0.8, respectively.

“The increase in ARM rates is consistent with movement of the yields on short-term Treasury securities, which have exhibited higher volatility recently due to market uncertainties,” Nothaft said.

In Bankrate.com’s survey, fixed mortgage rates fell sharply this week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 6.43 percent — its lowest level since May 23. Discount and origination points on the 30-year loans averaged 0.32.

The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage popular for refinancing slid to 6.13 percent, Bankrate.com reported. Unfortunately for mortgage shoppers in higher-cost housing markets, the average rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed rate was unchanged at 7.4 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages were mixed, with rates on hybrid ARMs like the 5/1 ARM backpedaling to 6.53 percent and the average one-year ARM inching higher to 6.2 percent.

According to Bankrate.com, conforming fixed mortgage rates dropped notably this week on news of more weakness in the housing market and a decline in consumer confidence. The initial interest rates for hybrid ARMs such as the 3/1, 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs also declined, but remain higher than those of fixed-rate loans. It was a different story on jumbo mortgage loans, where rates remained unchanged and further increased the penalty for borrowers taking loans greater than $417,000. The spread between the average conforming and jumbo fixed rates has exploded from 0.28 percentage point to 0.97 percentage point in the past five weeks.

Just six weeks ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.82 percent, according to Bankrate.com, meaning that a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,307. Now that the average conforming 30-year fixed rate is 6.43 percent, the same $200,000 loan carries a monthly payment of $1,255.

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 – 6.42 percent with 0.15 point

Los Angeles – 6.53 percent with 0.5 point

Chicago – 6.43 percent with 0.07 point

San Francisco – 6.39 percent with 0.52 point

Philadelphia – 6.45 percent with 0.26 point

Detroit – 6.45 percent with 0.01 point

Boston – 6.49 percent with 0.15 point

Houston – 6.35 percent with 0.6 point

Dallas – 6.37 percent with 0.47 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.43 percent with 0.51 point

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