Long-Term Mortgage Rates HoldSteady

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McLEAN, Va. - (07/23/04) -- Average rates charged on 30-year and15-year mortgages remained almost unchanged this week, but watchfor rates to rise later in the year, according to Freddie Mac. Theaverage for the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan slipped slightlyto 5.98% this week, from 6% last week; while the average for the15-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined a single basis point to5.39%, from 5.4%. The average for the one-year ARM, which is moresusceptible to the Federal Reserve's hike in short-term rates twoweeks ago, rose to 4.12%, from 4.02% last week. "Stronger growth inthe economy will invariably translate into higher mortgage rates inthe future, particularly for ARM products," said Frank Nothaft,chief economist for the secondary mortgage market giant. "But thisshould be offset by job growth and by rising incomesnationwide."

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