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Mortgage Rates Show Mixed Performance

Mortgage interest rates show a mixed performance for the week ending July 23, up ticking on average, but adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) dropped slightly, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac (FRE). The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.2% with an average 0.7 point, which rose from last week when it averaged 5.14%. For this week last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.63%. The 15-year FRM averaged 4.68% with an average 0.7 point for the week, up from 4.63% a week ago and down from 6.18% from last year. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaged 4.74% with an average 0.7 point for the week, down from 4.83% a week ago and 5.49% from last year. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.77% this week with an average 0.6 point, also down from last week when it averaged 4.76% and 5.49% a year ago. A separate rate survey conducted by Bankrate.com, which tracks large banks and thrifts, echoed the fluctuation of the rates. The 30-year FRMs averaged 5.55% for the week ending July 22, slipping from four weeks ago when they averaged 5.8%, and 15-year FRMs fell to 4.89%, according to Bankrate.com. The rates come after Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve notified Congress that the Fed would tighten monetary policy to defeat inflation, says Bankrate’s Holden Lewis. But, Lewis adds: “Bernanke said that he doesn’t believe the Fed will have to break out its Whip Inflation Now buttons anytime soon." Write to Jon Prior.

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