McLEAN, Va. - The average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages was 8.21% in the week ended July 21, up from 8.09% the previous week and 7.52% a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac's survey of the primary mortgage market.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed loans was 7.93%, up from 7.80% the previous week and 7.16% a year earlier.

The rate on one-year, Treasury-indexed, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 7.32% last week, up from 7.22% the previous week and 5.97% the year before.

"The drop in housing starts in June shows that higher mortgage rates have begun to put a damper on the bustling housing market, reinforcing the perception that the economy is finally slowing to a more sustainable pace," said Robert Van Order, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

"And although mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, it should be noted that historically they are still very affordable at current levels," Mr. Van Order said.

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