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Mortgage surveys vary slightly, but weekly rates still at or near record lows

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Freddie Mac said mortgage rates were unchanged this week, while another rate survey set new record lows. The Freddie Mac weekly survey put the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.37% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Sept. 23, stable from last week's slight increase. A year ago, the average rate was 5.04%. Freddie said the 15-year FRM average also remain unchanged this week at 3.82% with an average 0.7 point — below last year's average rate of 4.46%. The weekly Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts shows the average 30-year FRM at 4.5% with a 0.35 point, setting a new low in the 25-year-old survey and below 5.36% a year ago. The 15-year FRM was 3.96% with a 0.35 point, down from 4% last week and also at a record low. The 30-year, jumbo FRM averaged 5.17% last week with a 0.35 point, down from 5.19% the we last week. This week's mortgage rates were impacted by Tuesday's announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee, according to Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. “In its September 21st policy committee statement, the Federal Reserve indicated that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months," Nothaft said. "In addition, inflation was at levels somewhat below its comfort zone.  The perception of slow growth and low inflation removed any upward pressure on fixed mortgage rates this week." Averages on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages declined in both surveys. Freddie said the five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.54% with a 0.6 point, down from last week's average of 3.55% and 4.51% a year ago. Bankrate said the five-year ARM averaged 3.71% with a 0.35 point, down from 3.78% last week. The Bankrate reading was a record low for the survey. Freddie said the one-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.46% with a 0.7 point, up from last week's average of 3.4%, but down from last year's average of 4.52%. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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