May 16, 2008 in Business

Rates on 30-year mortgages dip to 6.01 percent

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

WASHINGTON – Rates on 30-year mortgages edged down this week to their lowest point in a month, a spot of welcome news to would-be home buyers.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.01 percent for the week ending May 15. That was down from last week’s 6.05 percent and was the lowest since mid-April when rates averaged 5.88 percent.

Other rates also fell.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 5.57 percent, from 5.67 percent last week. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 5.18 percent, compared with 5.29 percent.

However, rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, held steady at 5.60 percent this week.

Rates on the other types of mortgages dipped, reflecting hope on the part of investors that a recovery could be in sight for financial markets, which have been gripped by turbulence since last summer. Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the turmoil has eased somewhat but the situation is still fragile.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The nationwide average fee for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages was 0.7 point. For 30-year and five-year adjustable-rate mortgages, the nationwide average fee was 0.6 point. And, the average fee for 15-year mortgages was 0.5 point.

A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.15 percent, 15-year mortgage rates averaged 5.87 percent, five-year adjustable-rate mortgages were also at 5.89 percent and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages were at 5.48 percent.

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