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Mortgage rates slip
But fall is seen as a small fluctuation, not an overall trend; low rates keep housing market hot.
August 18, 2005: 11:44 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mortgage rates fell this week, reversing a six-week ascent, but the drop was seen as a brief deviation from an overall upward trend, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.80 percent for the week ending Thursday, down from 5.89 percent the previous week, according to the mortgage finance firm's survey.

Last year at this time, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan stood at 5.81 percent.

"Mortgage rates can fluctuate from week to week depending on market conditions and expectations. That is probably what happened this week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Nonetheless, long-term mortgage rates are at about the same low level they were at this time last year. So it isn't surprising that the housing industry continues to thrive."

The 15-year mortgage rate fell to 5.40 percent, down from 5.47 percent the week before. A year ago, the loan averaged 5.19 percent.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) slipped to an average 5.34 percent, down form 5.40 percent last week.

One-year adjusted-rate mortgages edged up to average 4.58 percent, up from 4.57 percent last week.

At this time last year, the one-year adjustable-rate loan averaged 4.01 percent.

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