Mortgage rates crept lower the week that ended Thursday, with the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages inching further below 5%, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey.

Rates edged lower as the market awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve's policy committee meeting on Jan. 27, according to Frank Northaft, Freddie's chief economist.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.98% for the week that ended Thursday, down slightly from last week's 4.99% average and 5.1% a year earlier.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were 4.39%, down from 4.4% last week and 4.8% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.25%, down from last week's 4.27% and 5.27% a year earlier.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were 4.29%, down from 4.32% last week and 4.9% a year earlier.

To obtain the rates, the fixed-rate mortgages and the five-year adjustable mortgage required payment of an average 0.6 point, and the one-year ARM required an average 0.5 point.

A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.

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