Industry NewsMortgage

Mortgage rates ease back to 6%

Real estate brief

Interest rates on fixed-rate loans dipped back down to near or below 6 percent this week, thanks to reduced fears of inflation and continued weakness in the housing market, Freddie Mac said. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.04 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Oct. 23, down from 6.46 percent last week and 6.33 percent a year ago, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.The 15-year FRM averaged 5.72 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 6.14 percent last week and 5.99 percent a year ago."Long-term mortgage rates fell this week amid news of tame inflation and a weaker housing market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, in a statement.Nothaft noted that new construction on one-family homes fell 12 percent in September, to an annual rate of 544,000 homes, the lowest since February 1982. One-unit housing starts were 70 percent below a peak set in January 2006, ac...