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Market concerns bring U.S. mortgage rates to new lows

(Xinhua)

09:05, August 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. mortgage rates this week continued to fall amid new market concerns after slumping a week earlier, said the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac said that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) dropped to 4.32 percent for the week ending August 11, 2011, marking a new low for the year. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.44 percent.

The 15-year FRM hit new historical record low averaging 3.50 percent, down from its previous week average of 3.54 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.92 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) moved down to a new all-time record low at 3.13 percent from last week's 3.18 percent, the company said.

In addition, the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.89 percent this week, down from last week when it averaged 3.02 percent.

Mortgage rates typically track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.

"Renewed market concerns about the European debt markets led investors to shift funds into U.S. Treasuries, pushing long-term yields lower," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week. Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets.

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