Long-Term Mortgage RatesDecline

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McLEAN, Va. - (12/10/04) -- Home mortgages rates fell sharplythis week, good holiday news for homeshoppers. The average for thebenchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan dipped to 5.71% this week, from5.81% last week; while the average for the 15-year, fixed-ratemortgage dropped to 5.14%, from 5.23%, according to Freddie Mac.The average for one-year ARMs also declined to 4.15%, from 4.19%last week. Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft attributedthe drop in rates to slowness in the labor market. "Responding to aweak labor market report that showed November job growth to be farless than had been anticipated, long-term yields - and thatincludes mortgage rates - reversed last week's hike,'' saidNothaft.

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