NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Mortgage rates slipped for a second consecutive week, although 1-year ARMs edged higher in the latest week.|
According to Freddie Mac, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 7.03 percent for the week ending July 27, down from 7.08 percent the previous week. A year ago, the same mortgage averaged 8.13 percent.
The average this week for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.58 percent, down from the previous week's average of 6.65 percent. A year ago, the same rate stood at 7.29 percent.
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One-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.72 percent, up from last week's average of 5.62 percent. The same mortgage averaged 7.29 percent at this time last year.
"Mortgage rates have remained below 7.25 percent since the end of the year," said Robert Van Order, Freddie Mac chief economist. "And it is these affordable rates that are contributing to the continuing vibrancy of the housing sector.
"For instance, although the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that existing home sales were down for June, they are still stronger than they were last year, a good indication that the housing market remains healthy" Van Order said.
[Click here to see a breakdown of U.S. mortgage rates by region]
Freddie Mac (FRE: Research, Estimates), or Federal Home Mortgage Corp., is a publicly traded company the government established in 1970 to provide a flow of funds to mortgage lenders.
It buys mortgages from banks, bundles them and then resells them as mortgage-backed securities. Its products, and the products of other similar entities, have become increasingly popular as an alternative to government-backed bonds, particularly with international investors.