November 16, 2007 in Business

30-year mortgages unchanged

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

WASHINGTON – Rates on 30-year mortgages were unchanged this week after posting three consecutive declines.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages remained at 6.24 percent, the same as last week. That is the lowest level since rates were at 6.21 percent in mid-May.

“There were no definite upward or downward pressures on mortgage rates this week,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

The Federal Reserve has cut a key interest rate twice since September, but Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in congressional testimony last week that, at the moment, the Fed sees the risks of higher inflation and weaker growth as roughly balanced, a signal that the central bank may not cut rates again unless economic growth slides significantly.

Rates on other types of mortgages were mixed this week.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, averaged 5.88 percent, down from 5.90 percent last week.

Rates on five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 5.96 percent, up from 5.89 percent last week. Rates on one-year ARMs were unchanged at 5.50 percent.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year, 15-year and five-year mortgages each carried a nationwide average fee of 0.4 point. The one-year ARM carried an average fee of 0.5 point.

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