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Mortgage rates drift to new record lows

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The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage posted another record low in two weekly surveys. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.27% with an average 0.8 origination point for the week ending Oct. 7, down from last week's average of 4.32% and a year ago, when the average was 4.87%. This is the lowest rate the survey has recorded since its inception in 1971. The Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts reported the average rate for a 30-year FRM at 4.45% with a 0.32 origination point, down from last week's average of 4.5% and a new record low for the nearly 25-year-old survey. Rates for 15-year FRMs are also plunging, setting a historic record low for Freddie Mac. The GSE said the rate was down to 3.72% with an average origination point of 0.8. The rate for a 15-year FRM was 4.33% one year ago. Bankrate posted the rate for 15-year FRMs at 3.87%, down from 3.94% last week to a new record low. Vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft, attributed the decline to a slower economic growth rate and slower rate of inflation. "The 12-month price growth of core price index for personal consumption, which the Federal Reserve closely tracks, has been drifting lower over the past six months ending in August and suggests inflation is running at a tepid pace at best," he said. "This allowed mortgage rates to ease to new or near record lows this week." The GSE said the average rate for a 5-year, adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.47% with an average 0.6 origination point, down from last week's average of 3.52% and a year ago, when the average was 4.35%. Bankrate also reported the average rate for a 5-year ARM lower than last week at 3.64%, down from 3.7%. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.4% with an average 0.7 point this week, down from last week when it averaged 3.48%. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.53%. Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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