Industry News

Mortgage rates fall on more bad economic news

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A disappointing December for retail sales helped push mortgage rates lower this week, with rates on 30- and 15-year fixed mortgages down to their lowest levels since July 2005, Freddie Mac reported today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped 18 basis points in the last week, from 5.87 percent to 5.69 percent, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage tumbled 22 basis points, from 5.43 percent to 5.21 percent. Points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.5 and 0.4, respectively, on the 30- and 15-year loans. Freddie Mac reported that average rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also declined, with the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM falling from 5.63 percent to 5.4 percent and the one-year ARM dropping from 5.37 percent to 5.26 percent. Points on these loans averaged 0.6. "The latest retail sales report indicated that shoppers scaled back spending in December, as retail sales declined by 0.4 percent from No...