WASHINGTON --Consumers, seeking refuge from the rising cost of fixed-rate loans, are continuing their rapid shift to adjustable-rate mortages. ARMs represented 46% of the market in September, the highest in more than five years.

What's more, the number appears to be headed higher. Now that rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have climbed past 9% and double-digit rates are in sight, experts say ARMs will soon make up more than half the market.

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