Long-Term Mortgage RatesDecline

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McLEAN, Va. - (10/15/04) -- Long-term mortgage rates fell thisweek, eliminating most of the gains from last week, according toFreddie Mac. The average for the 30-year, fixed-rate loan declinedto 5.74% this week, from 5.82% last week; while the average for the15-year, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 5.14%, from 5.24%. Theaverage rate for one-year ARMs also dipped to 4.01% this week, from4.08%. Fannie Mae's economists said the latest drop in interestrates reflected market disappointment about the latest unemploymentreport, which showed a lower-than-expected 96,000 payroll jobs wereadded in September. "The decline in mortgage rates was primarilydue to a weak employment report for September, which suggestedeconomic growth is still a bit subdued," said Frank Nothaft, chiefeconomist for the secondary mortgage market giant. "As a result, weexpect mortgage rates will continue to stay quite affordable overthe next few months, benefiting future homebuyers.

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