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Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4% for Second Time: Freddie

Ongoing trouble in Europe meshed with low home prices to keep a heel on mortgage rates this week, with ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ offering up news that interest rates for loans fell below 4 percent for the second time this year.

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The GSE released a weekly survey alongside finance Web site ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/, which disagreed by reporting that mortgage rates climbed this week.

For Freddie, rates for the benchmark 30-year loan fell to 3.99 percent, down one percentage point from last week. Bankrate.com said that the fixed-rate mortgage, albeit still historically low, went up to 4.25 percent this week from 4.23 percent last week.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage likewise declined by a percentage point for Freddie, as the company reported a downward tug that yielded 3.30 percent, down from 3.31

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percent. Bankrate.com said that the 15-year loan inched forward to 3.50 percent this week, a change from 3.48 percent last week.

""Fixed mortgage rates were little changed this week amid a mix of economic data reports,"" ""Frank Nothaft"":http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist, said in a statement. ""The economy added 80,000 net jobs in October, below the market consensus forecast, but employment gains over the prior two months were revised up by 102,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 9.0 percent, the lowest in six months.

""Factory orders improved in September, yet the expansion in the service industry slowed in October,"" he added.

Freddie found the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) posting slight changes as it hit 2.98 percent, a few percentage points above 2.96 percent but still far below 3.25 percent seen last year. It offered up 2.95 percent for the 1-year ARM this week, nary a difference from 2.88 percent last week.

Bankrate.com differed little by delivering 3.16 percent for 5-year and 1-year ARMs this week, just a few percentage points below 3.18 percent seen last week.

""Mortgage rates moved slightly this week, as mortgage rates continue to see-saw up and down as worries over European debt issues take turns intensifying - then easing - each day,"" the finance Web site said in a statement.

""With the likelihood of an imminent U.S. recession dismissed, Europe will continue to be the focus of financial markets and be the key driver of mortgage rates in the weeks ahead,"" it added.

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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