Mortgage Rates Return To Four-YearHighs

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McLEAN, Va. - (05/19/06) -- Long-term mortgage rates tippedupwards again this week, after dipping slightly last week, andreturned to four-year highs, according to Freddie Mac. The averagefor the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose slightly to 6.60% thisweek, from 6.58% last week' while the average for the 15-year,fixed-rate loan moved to 6.20%, from 6.17%. ARM rates werevirtually unchanged, with the five-year ARM average rising a singlebasis point to 6.23% and the one-year ARM average remaining at5.62%. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, predictedmore fluctuations in rates. "The current debate is between risinginflation and slower consumer spending. Until the market finds outwhich influence will be the strongest, mortgage rates shouldcontinue to fluctuate as they have the last couple of weeks," hesaid.

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