Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

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McLEAN, Va. - (09/09/05) -- Long-term mortgage rates showed noeffect from the massive disaster unfolding in the Gulf Coast afterHurricane Katrina, with the average for the 30-year-rate holdingsteady this week, after falling each of the previous three weeks,according to Freddie Mac. ARM rates, however, continued to decline,displaying the uncertainty of the markets. The average for thebenchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan was unchanged this week at5.71%; while the average for the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgageslipped slightly to 5.30%, from 5.32% last week. One-year ARMaverage also slipped to 445%, form 4.48%; and the five-year ARMaverage fell to 5.24%, form 5.30%. "We expect that near-term growthwill now be a bit weaker than had been anticipated, due in verylarge part to the disruption in economic activity brought on byKatrina last week," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at FreddieMac. "However, the federal monies that will flow into the damagedareas and the lower interest rates brought on by the disaster willstimulate economic growth next year, making up for the slowdown inthe last part of this year.

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