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Washington Gridlock Spells Quiet Week for Mortgage Rates

Fixed mortgage rates held more or less steady this week as Capitol Hill remained locked in debate over budgetary concerns.


According to data in ""Freddie Mac's"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending October 10, just up from 4.22 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.31 percent (0.7 point), up from 3.29 percent previously.


News was similar for adjustable rates. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.05 percent (0.4 point), rising from 3.03 percent. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.64 percent (0.4 point), increasing a single basis point.

In addition to putting markets into a ""wait and see"" position, the federal debt impasse made for a ""light week of economic data releases""--giving investors little to react to, explained Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/ recorded a fifth consecutive week of declines for fixed rates in its weekly national survey. According to the site, the 30-year fixed averaged 4.39 percent this week--down from 4.41 percent--while the 15-year fixed was flat at 3.47 percent.

The 5/1 ARM experienced the greatest movement, falling 6 basis points to 3.34 percent.

""The ongoing government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling deadline have made investors cautious. The prospect for slower economic growth has investors moving into longer-term government and mortgage-backed bonds, bringing yields lower,"" Bankrate said in a release. ""This has been good for mortgage rates, which are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.""


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