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Fixed-rate mortgages drop to six-month low

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Fixed-rate mortgage rates fell to lows not experienced since November this past week, reflecting a housing market struggling in the midst of signs that another downturn is possible. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 4.69%, according to Bankrate, in its survey of large lenders. In addition, the average 15-year, FRM dropped to 3.88% and the jumbo 30-year FRM declined to 5.16%, Bankrate said. The 4-year adjustable rate mortgage also hit a record low of 3.39%, while the 7-year ARM plunged to 3.64%. Bankrate concluded that "more weak economic data is increasing evidence that a summer soft patch has arrived — again." Freddie Mac said fixed-rate mortgages are down for the seventh consecutive week, with the 30-year FRM hitting 4.55%, down from 4.6% a week earlier. The 15-year FRM also hit 3.74%, down from 3.78% a week earlier. A year ago, the same 15-year ARM held at 4.2%.  In addition, Freddie Mac said the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM was unchanged this past week at 3.41%. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.13% this past week, up from last week when it hit 3.11%. The volume of mortgage applications also fell 4% last week as incoming economic data dampened consumer confidence, the Mortgage Bankers Association said earlier this week. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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