Mortgage Rates Fall For First time InFive Weeks

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McLEAN, Va. - (07/18/06) – Mortgage rates declined lastweek for the first time in since the beginning of June, accordingto Freddie Mac. The average rate for the benchmark 30-year,fixed-rate loan dipped to 6.74% last week, from 6.79% the weekbefore; and the average for the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgageslipped to 6.37%, from 6.44%. ARM rates also eased, with theone-year ARM average dropping to 5.75% last week, from 5.83% theweek before; and the five-year ARM average dipping to 6.33%, from6.39%. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, expects onlya gradual rise in mortgage rates this year, as long as the FederalReserve does not become overly worried about inflation. Thefinancial market's expectation of only one additional interest-ratehike by the Fed this year has helped soften the upward pressure onlong-term rates, according to Nothaft. “This should keepmortgage rates relatively stable for the foreseeable future hesaid.

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