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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates still falling

May 26, 2011 |  8:02 am

Mortgage rates fell for the sixth straight week, according to a widely watched survey of lenders, with the 30-year fixed loan at an even 4.60%, its lowest level since fall.

That was down a notch from 4.61% the week before, government-controlled home lending giant Freddie Mac said.

Price reduced Fixed-rate mortgages that pay off over 15 years were being offered to well-qualified borrowers at a typical rate of 3.78%, Freddie Mac said, compared to 3.80% a week earlier.

Freddie Mac asks lenders across the country what terms they are offering to borrowers with good credit and 20% home equity or down payments. The borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan balance to the lenders this week to obtain those rates, along with additional payments to third parties such as appraisers and title insurers.

Paying additional amounts upfront to lenders -- points, as the industry calls them -- can lower rates further, and analysts said borrowers with solid credit often can negotiate slightly lower rates as well.

The starting interest rates on variable home loans also fell this week, Freddie Mac said.

The rates fell even lower than current levels last summer and fall, staying below 4.6% on average for the months of July through November. Once in October and once again in November the survey showed them below 4.2% for a week.


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--E. Scott Reckard

Photo: Home for sale in northern Virginia in October, when mortgage rates sank to near-record lows. Credit: Larry Downing / Reuters