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UPDATE

Interest rates on home loans continue to slide

June 15, 2003|From Times wire services

Good news continues for those seeking home loans or refinancing existing ones. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to a new low of 5.21% for the week ending Friday from 5.26% the previous week.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage fell to a record-low 4.6%, while the average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage hit a new low of 3.54%, the mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac reported.

Art Frank, head of mortgage research at Nomura Securities International Inc., said the lower rates were due to a rally in the Treasury market tied to expectations the Fed will cut rates later this month. Freddie Mac buys mortgages and sells some in the form of securities that it guarantees.

News of trouble at Freddie Mac made headlines throughout the week. As of Monday, three top Freddie Mac executives were gone, including President and Chief Operating Officer David Glenn who allegedly tampered with documents in connection with an internal probe. The company has said it underreported profits for the last three years.

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Mortgages 'move' with borrowers

E-Trade Mortgage launched a "portable" loan program last week. "Mortgage on the Move" allows borrowers to secure a mortgage and then transfer the loan terms to a future residence.

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