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Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages edge down to 4.93%

This week's average reported by Freddie Mac is 0.04 of a percentage point lower than last week's. The average on 15-year fixed loans also fell, to 4.33% from 4.34%.

February 19, 2010|By E. Scott Reckard

The average interest rate offered by lenders on 30-year fixed-rate home loans fell to 4.93% this week from 4.97% last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.33%, a notch below 4.34% last week.

Freddie Mac's survey asks lenders the rates they are offering and how much in upfront fees they would charge for borrowers who have good credit and at least a 20% down payment or that percentage of home equity in the case of a refinancing.

Upfront lender fees, or points, averaged 0.7% of the loan balance for 30-year mortgages and 0.6% for 15-year loans.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage, which offers a fixed rate for the first five years, averaged 4.12% with 0.5% in upfront fees. The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate loan averaged 4.23% with 0.6% in points, according to the survey, which was conducted Monday through Wednesday.

Mortgage brokers say well-qualified borrowers often can obtain lower rates than those in Freddie Mac's survey by shopping around.

For borrowers with good credit and 20% down, 30-year fixed mortgages were available at 4.75% on Thursday morning with 1% in points, said broker Jeff Lazerson at Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel.

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