Freddie Mac's closely watched rate survey for the week ended Aug. 12 met expectations for further drops in three key rates to lows not seen since the government-sponsored enterprise began tracking them.

The average for the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, which Freddie began tracking in 1971, fell to 4.44%. This was down from 4.49% the previous week and 5.29% a year earlier.

The decline came in the wake of Federal Reserve officials' recent near-unanimous decision to hold both short- and long-term rates low and of an earlier weak employment report. The average rate for 15-year, fixed mortgages and for five-year, Treasury-indexed, adjustable-rate mortgages also fell to record lows during the most recent week. The average point charge was lowest on 15-year loans, at 0.6. The 15-year fixed rate fell to 3.92%, from 3.95% the previous week and 4.68% a year earlier. Freddie has tracked this rate since 1991.

During the week ended Aug. 12, the five-year Treasury hybrid rate declined to 3.56%, from 3.63% the previous week and 4.75% the year before. Freddie has been tracking this rate since 2005.

The average rate on one-year Treasury ARMs also dropped in the latest week, to 3.53% from 3.55% a week earlier and 4.72% a year before.

The average point charge for all loans except 15-year, fixed mortgages was 0.7 in the week ended Aug. 12.

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