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Mortgage rates dip on weak economic reports

Jobs, tighter credit on prime loans bring sobering news

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Mortgage rates fell slightly this week on news of job losses in December and deteriorating business conditions in January, Freddie Mac reported today. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages sank to 5.67 percent from last week's 5.68 percent, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate slipped to 5.15 percent from 5.17 percent. A year ago, the 30-year fixed averaged 6.28 percent and the 15-year averaged 6.02 percent. This week, points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.4 on the 30- and 15-year loans. "Long-term mortgage rates were little changed this week, largely in sync with the movements in the Treasury bond yields during the same time," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a prepared statement. "Additionally, economic news released in the past week showed that the economy continues to be weak. "Non-farm payroll employment fell by 17,000 jobs in December, the first month o...