Industry NewsMortgage

Economic news drives mortgage rates down

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Mortgage rates fell sharply this week on softer economic news, Freddie Mac reported today. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped 21 basis points from a week ago, dipping from 6.24 percent to 6.03 percent, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage tumbled from 5.72 percent to 5.47 percent. Points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans. "Weak economic reports that indicated declines in the job market, slowing in manufacturing and low consumer confidence drove bond yields lower this week and mortgage rates followed," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a prepared statement. "Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are now at the same levels as they were two weeks ago, erasing last week's upward jump. "Meanwhile, the housing market continues to take a toll on the rest of the economy. Residential fixed investmen...