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Long-term mortgage rates fell for the eighth time in 10 weeks and are at their lowest since March.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 4 basis points to 6.45 percent, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.33 discount and origination points. One year ago, the mortgage index was 5.8 percent; four weeks ago, it was 6.57 percent.
The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 6 basis points to 6.14 percent. The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage went the other way, rising 2 basis points to 6.24 percent.
Weekly national mortgage survey
Results of Bankrate.com’s Sept. 6, 2006, weekly national survey of large lenders and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:
This week’s rate: 6.45%
Change from last week: -0.04%
Monthly payment: $1,037.49
Change from last week: -$4.34
This week’s rate: 6.14%
Change from last week: -0.06%
Monthly payment: $1,404.87
Change from last week: -$5.39
This week’s rate: 6.24%
Change from last week: +0.02%
Monthly payment: $1,014.86
Change from last week: +$2.14
Average rates on 30-year fixed mortgages haven’t been this low since Bankrate’s March 29 survey, when they averaged 6.44 percent. At the end of June, the average rate on a 30-year fixed was 6.93 percent. It has fallen almost half a percentage point in the 10 weeks since.
Rates have fallen in mostly small increments as a picture emerges of a slowing economy. This week, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, the central bank’s summary of economic activity nationwide and in the Fed’s 12 districts. It said that five districts “indicated deceleration” in economic activity in the past few weeks, while the rest “reported little change in the pace of growth.”
That’s a recipe for slowly falling interest rates.