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Personal Finance > Your Home
Mortgage rates slip
August 16, 2001: 2:14 p.m. ET

Long-term 30-year mortgage rates reach lowest level since March
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Mortgage rates in the latest week slipped from the previous week, with only the one-year adjustable-rate mortgages inching higher.

According to Freddie Mac, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 6.92 percent for the week ending Aug. 17, down from 7 percent the previous week, and at its lowest level since the week ended March 30, when it averaged 6.91 percent. A year ago, the same rate stood at 7.96 percent.

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The average this week for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.48 percent, down from last week's average of 6.54 percent. A year ago, the same rate stood at 7.70 percent.

One-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.71 percent, inching up from last week's average of 5.70 percent. The same mortgage averaged 7.21 percent at this time last year.

"The good news is that the current low mortgage rates are spurring the housing market. This, in turn, is helping to bolster the economy, keeping us out of recession," said Robert Van Order, Freddie Mac chief economist.

[Click here for 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. graphic

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