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Fixed Mortgage Rates Sink Slightly

graph-downBoth 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage rates showed slight week-over-week decreases, according to Freddie Mac [1]'s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey [2] released Thursday.

The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) dropped to a year-low 4.12 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 14, according to Freddie Mac, down from 4.14 percent from the week ending August 7 and from 4.40 percent from the same week in 2013.

The rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.24 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 14, a decrease from 3.27 percent week-over-week and 3.44 percent year-over-year.

"Mortgage rates were down slightly amid a week of light economic reports," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Of the few releases, retail sales were virtually unchanged in July after a 0.2 percent increase in June, ending five months of increases. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, retail sales were up 0.1 percent last month."

According to the report from Freddie Mac, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) average also experienced a slight drop from the previous week, while the 1-year rate slightly increased week-over-week. The 5-year ARM average for the week ending August 14 was 2.97 percent with an average 0.5 point, a drop from 2.98 percent the previous week.

Meanwhile, the 1-year ARM average went up slightly from 2.35 percent to 2.36 percent with an average 0.5 point.

In Bankrate [3]'s weekly survey [4] covering the same week, the 30-year FRM average of 4.27 percent was down from 4.29 the previous week, while the 15-year FRM average fell from 3.40 percent to 3.39 percent week-over-week. Bankrate reports that the 30-year FRM average has decreased significantly since the end of 2013, when it was 4.69 percent.

"While there is no obvious catalyst to jolt rates out of the summer lull seen in the past three months, the risk over the coming week would be two upcoming inflation releases," Bankrate said in press release. "A scare from either the Producer Price Index or the Consumer Price Index could cause some volatility. But if the readings are benign, then mortgage rates could revisit their lows of the year seen in late May."