Thursday, September 13, 2007

US 30-. 15-year mortgage rates lower

Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:36AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Average rates on U.S. 30- and 15-year mortgages fell in the latest week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said in a survey on Thursday.

U.S. 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.31 percent, down from 6.46 percent last week, while 15-year mortgages averaged 5.97 percent, also lower than 6.15 percent a week earlier.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to an average of 5.66 percent from 5.74 percent last week.

Freddie Mac also said the "5/1" ARM, set at a fixed rate for five years and adjustable each following year, averaged 6.17 percent compared with 6.32 percent last week.

A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 6.43 percent, 15-year mortgages 6.11 percent and the one-year ARM 5.60 percent. The 5/1 ARM averaged 6.10 percent.

"Interest rates on prime conforming loans fell across the board in the past week, with rates on 30-year fixed mortgages averaging 0.15 percentage points below the previous week's level," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

"The drop in mortgage rates may give some relief to borrowers who are looking to refinance or purchase a home," Nothaft added.

Freddie Mac said lenders charged an average of 0.5 percent in fees and points on 30-year mortgages and 0.6 percent on the 5/1 ARM, both unchanged from last week.

They charged 0.4 percent on 15-year mortgages, down from 0.5 percent a week ago, and 0.8 percent on the one-year ARM, up from 0.6 percent.

Freddie Mac is a mortgage finance company chartered by Congress that buys mortgages from lenders and packages them into securities to sell to investors or to hold in its own portfolio.

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