Long-Term Mortgage Rates EdgeHigher

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McLEAN, Va. - (02/10/06) – Long-term mortgage rates inchedhigher this week, for the third week in a row, according to FreddieMac, the average for the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan movedup to 6.24% this week, from 6.23% last week; while the average forthe 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.83%, from 5.81%. ARMrates also rose slightly, with the average for the five-year ARMmoving to 5.89% this week, from 5.87% last week; and the averagefor the one-year ARM going to 5.34%, from 5.33%. With no bigeconomic news to influence the direction of mortgage rates thisweek, the numbers drifted very slightly upward, said Frank Nothaft,chief economist for Freddie Mac. We see this trend continuingthroughout 2006, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ending theyear at about 6.3% as the housing market eases back from lastyear's record-setting levels toward a somewhat more normal rate ofactivity.

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