NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Mortgage rates eased this week, knocking the 30-year rate to its lowest level since April 1.
The recent decline is in part attributable to the recent weak reading on consumer confidence, according to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The drop left an unsavory taste in the market. Because consumer spending constitutes about 2/3 of the economy, this could seriously impact economic growth."
The rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.77 percent in the week ending Sept. 2, with an average 0.8 point payable up front, down from 5.82 percent the previous week, Freddie Mac said.
A year earlier, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged 6.32 percent.
The 15-year mortgage rate fell to a 5.15 percent average from 5.21 percent, with 0.7 point payable up front. Last year, the average rate stood at 5.66 percent.
One-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.97 percent, down from 4.05 percent last week, with 0.8 of a point payable up front. At this time last year, the average rate for ARMs was 3.88 percent.
"August employment figures are due out tomorrow and those numbers will shed more light on the future financial strength or weakness of families. And that strength or weakness is a large part of what will drive the pace of the nation's economic growth," Nothaft added.
Freddie Mac's (FRE: up $0.08 to $68.76, Research, Estimates) average mortgage rates are based on a survey of 125 lenders nationwide.