Good news for would-be home buyers: mortgage rates down a bit |

Good news for would-be home buyers: mortgage rates down a bit

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – Mortgage rates edged down this week, good news for people looking to buy a slice of the American dream – their own home.The mortgage company Freddie Mac, in its weekly survey, reported that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dipped to 6.22 percent for the week ending Thursday. That was down from last week’s average rate of 6.26 percent and was the lowest since late October.Rates on 30-year mortgages had climbed to a two-year high of 6.37 for the week ending Nov. 17, but since have moderated.Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing a home mortgage, averaged 5.76 percent, also the lowest since late October. Rates last week on 15-year mortgages averaged 5.79 percent.One-year adjustable rate mortgages dropped to 5.15 percent this week, compared with 5.22 percent in the previous week. Rates on five-year hybrid adjustable rate mortgages averaged 5.79 percent, down from 5.82 percent last week.Recent government reports, including those suggesting that inflation is under control, “led to another decline in mortgage rates this week,” said Amy Crews Cutts, a Freddie Mac economist.Although home sales are now slowing, they still are on track for a record in 2005. That would come after home sales have set highs in the past four years.For all of 2005, the 30-year mortgage averaged 5.87 percent, Freddie Mac said. That was up slightly from 5.84 percent in 2004. In 2003, rates on 30-year mortgages clocked in at 5.83 percent, the lowest annual average since Freddie Mac began tracking mortgage rates in 1971.The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year mortgages carried an average fee of 0.5 point. Fifteen-year and five-year hybrid adjustables each had an average fee of 0.6 point, while one-year ARMs carried a fee of 0.7 point.A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 5.81 percent, 15-year mortgages stood at 5.23 percent and one-year ARMs were at 4.19 percent. Freddie Mac does not have historical data on the five-year ARM which it began tracking this year.—On the Net:Freddie Mac: http://www.freddiemac.comVail, Colorado

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