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Rates plunge deeper

August 16, 2002

Freddie Mac, Bankrate weekly surveys show interest rates shaking hands with another new low

Inman News Features

Mortgage rates continued on their downward spiral this week, according to surveys conducted by both Freddie Mac and Bankrate.

In Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.22 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending August 16, falling from 6.31 percent last week. This week's figure breaks the previous 32-year low in Freddie Mac's survey that was recorded last week.

The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week was 5.63 percent, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week's average of 5.69 percent. This week's figure is the lowest the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage has been since Freddie Mac started tracking it in August of 1991.

One-year ARMs averaged 4.39 percent, with an average 0.6 point, up slightly from last week's average of 4.37 percent.

"The Fed's acknowledgement of weakness in the economy and a flight to quality in the bond market caused fixed-rate mortgage rates to slide further," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "And low mortgage rates certainly help offset rising home values, keeping housing affordable for a larger pool of homebuyers. Our current forecast predicts that although mortgage rates will fluctuate over the rest of the year, fixed-rate mortgages in particular will remain at near record levels for the rest of the year."

Fixed mortgage rates fell again this week, according to Bankrate's national survey of large lenders.

Rates on the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 6.19 percent, according to Bankrate. Rates on the benchmark 15-year fixed mortgage also fell to 5.62 percent.

The following is a sampling of Bankrate's average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas.

New York – 6.35 percent with 0.03 points

Los Angeles – 6.1 percent with 0.95 points

Chicago – 6.45 percent with 0.1 points

San Francisco – 6.17 percent with 0.61 points

Philadelphia – 6.18 percent with 0.61 points

Detroit – 6.1 percent with 0.53 points

Boston – 6.24 percent with 0.52 points

Houston – 6.2 percent with 0.59 points

Dallas – 5.98 percent with 0.96 points

Washington, D.C. – 6.11 percent with 0.65 points

Copyright: Inman News Service

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