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Still Falling, Mortgage Rates Read From the Same Script

This week mortgage rates played by the same script seen for the last few months, furthering a season for all-time high affordability while fears for Europe drove investors across the Atlantic.

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Finance Web site ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/, mortgage giant ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/, and real estate Web site ""Zillow.com"":http://www.zillow.com/ delivered a dearth for rates across the board.

For Freddie, rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.90 percent, down from 3.95 percent last week. The GSE found the 15-year loan in a dip from 3.19 percent to 3.17 percent this week.

Five-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also underwent declines, with the former waxing by less than point to 2.83 percent from 2.80 percent, and the latter, 2.72 percent from 2.73 percent.

""Frank Nothaft"":http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie, said in a statement that a bottom for fixed-rate will continue to spur growth in the housing market.

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He cited a climb by existing-home sales to a stride in January, the highest since April last year, and modest revisions by the Fed in the Beige Book it released Wednesday.

""Mortgage rates remain near all-time lows and that is great news to the scores of underwater homeowners that will be looking to refinance under the expanded HARP initiative this month,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø adds ""Greg McBride"":http://www.bankrate.com/blogs/federal-reserve/about-greg-mcbride-cfa.aspx, a senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com.

The finance Web site likewise offered declines for loans across the board. It found the 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages in a dip from 4.16 percent to 4.10 percent and 3.38 percent to 3.35 percent, respectively.

The finance Web site fielded the same for 5-year and 1-year ARMs, with each down from 3.12 percent to 3.04 percent this week.

Zillow recorded much of the same for mortgage rates earlier this week, with the 30-year loan falling to 3.69 percent, down from 3.76 percent last week.

""Rates dropped slightly this week on concerns over higher oil prices and ongoing uncertainty in Europe,"" ""Erin Lantz"":http://12.129.17.108/profile/Erin-Lantz/, director of the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said in a statement. ""Mortgage rates will remain fairly steady in the near-term.""

For its part, Greece remains in the clutch of a debt crisis that drew $172 billion in bailout funds from European Union finance ministers last week.

A mass write-down for investors led to a credit downgrade from ratings agency ""Standard & Poor's"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/SPComIPResolver, encouraging more investors to leave Europe for U.S. Treasury debt, against which lenders inversely benchmark interest rates for mortgage loans.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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