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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady as Industry Weighs Positives, Negatives

Mortgage rate movement this week was ""so slight it was almost nonexistent,"" according to data from Freddie Mac and ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/.


Freddie Mac's ""Primary Mortgage Market Survey"":http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/ showed a bit of movement in fixed rates, with the 30-year fixed averaging 3.41 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending October 25, up from 3.37 percent in the previous survey.

The 15-year fixed saw the biggest increase, averaging 2.72 percent (0.6 point) this week. Last week, the 15-year average was 2.66 percent.

Adjustable rates stayed mostly flat. The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.75 percent (0.6 point), unchanged from last week, while the 1-year ARM slipped one basis point to 2.59 percent (0.4 point).

Bankrate's weekly survey revealed even smaller changes: The 30-year fixed dropped to 3.61 percent from 3.62 percent last week, while the 15-year fixed slid to 2.90 percent from 2.91 percent before.

The 5/1 ARM, meanwhile, edged up slightly to 2.73 percent (from 2.72 percent in the previous survey).

Scott Lanoff, president of American Success Mortgage in New York, told Bankrate that recent positive housing news (such as yearly increases in both existing and new home sales) is being eclipsed by larger economic concerns like the ""fiscal cliff."" As a result, mortgage rates are seeing little weekly movement.

Lanoff also said he is paying attention to rate movements as loan prices experience multiple intraday adjustments-a occurrence ""not unheard of, but highly unusual.""

""We've lived in a very calm period for months, and now we're seeing more erratic movement in the interest rate environment. It seems to be off the bottom, but trading in a narrow range,"" Lanoff said. ""People's expectations are that rates are so, so low. Even a little move off the basement is enough to make consumers concerned.""

More than half of analysts and lenders ""surveyed by Bankrate"":http://www.bankrate.com/news/rate-trends/mortgage.aspx anticipate little movement in the next week.


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