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Mortgage Rates Float Ahead of Next Fed Meeting

It's been a quiet week for mortgage rates, which drifted down slightly as markets wait to see what comes of the Federal Open Market Committee's next meeting in late January.

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""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ released Thursday its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the average rate on a year 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) falling 2 basis points to 4.39 percent (0.7 point). A year ago, the 30-year FRM sat at 3.42 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.44 percent (0.7 point), down from 3.45 percent previously.

Adjustable rates experienced mixed movements: The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage [COLUMN_BREAK]

(ARM) averaged 3.15 percent (0.5 point) this week, up from 3.10 percent. The 1-year ARM, meanwhile, averaged 2.54 percent (0.5 point), down from 2.56 percent last week.

Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, pinned this week's movements on recent inflation statistics.

""Mortgage rates were flat to down a little this week amid reports that inflation remains subdued,"" Nothaft said. ""The Consumer Price Index was up to 0.3 percent in December after being unchanged in November. For the year as a whole, consumer prices rose just 1.5 percent in 2013.""

The numbers coming out of ""Bankrate.com's"":http://www.bankrate.com/ weekly national survey looked similar. According to the finance site's latest figures, the 30-year fixed averaged 4.56 percent this week, down a single basis point, while the 15-year fixed averaged 3.61 percent.

The 5/1 ARM was at 3.42 percent, up slightly from last week.

""Mortgage rates were quiet this week, but the Fed may disturb the peace of borrowers when it meets next week,"" Bankrate said in a release. ""If the Fed continues to pull back their bond purchases throughout 2014, which is expected, a steady movement toward higher mortgage rates is likely to happen over the next several months.""

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