Industry NewsMortgage

Pressure on mortgage rates eases

Fed chairman says unemployment remains a concern

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After climbing for two weeks in a row, mortgage rates reversed course this week, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans again below 4 percent after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke voiced worries about persistently high unemployment. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 29, down from 4.08 percent last week and 4.86 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.87 percent during the first three weeks of February.Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular refinancing option, averaged 3.23 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 3.3 percent last week and 4.09 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year loans hit a low in records dating to 1991 of 3.13 percent during the week ending March 8.For 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, rates averaged 2.9 percent, with...