Mortgage rates were in a holding pattern this week, barely moving from last week’s averages, according to surveys from Freddie Mac and Bankrate, despite speeches from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about the economic effects of the slumping housing market.

In Freddie Mac’s survey, average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were unchanged from last week at 6.4 percent, while average rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were up slightly at 6.08 percent from 6.06 percent a week ago. Points on 30-year and 15-year mortgages averaged 0.5 and 0.6, respectively.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.11 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 6.12 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.76 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.73 percent.  At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.57 percent.

“Both economic indicators and mortgage rates came in mixed this week,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “While retail sales were stronger in September, consumer confidence fell below market expectations in October. Moreover, both the core consumer price index and producer prices for September remained contained.

“In his October 15th speech, Fed Chairman Bernanke suggested housing would be a ‘significant drag’ on the economy going into the next year.  Indeed, inventories of unsold homes remained exceptionally high. And October’s home builder confidence fell to the lowest level since 1985, when record keeping began.”

In Bankrate’s weekly survey, average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were at 6.49 percent, while average rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages inched lower to 6.17 percent.

The average jumbo 30-year fixed rate dipped to 7.24 percent, and adjustable mortgage rates declined as well, with the average one-year ARM down to 6.13 percent, and the average 5/1 ARM falling to 6.26 percent.

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

New York – 6.52 percent with 0.17 point

Los Angeles – 6.54 percent with 0.63 point

Chicago – 6.54 percent with 0.17 point

San Francisco – 6.43 percent with 0.68 point

Philadelphia – 6.53 percent with 0.11 point

Detroit – 6.58 percent with no points

Boston – 6.53 percent with 0.03 point

Houston – 6.4 percent with 0.65 point

Dallas – 6.41 percent with 0.5 point

Washington, D.C. – 6.39 percent with 0.53 point


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