Mortgage rates fall

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages drop to 6.20% from 6.46% and are expected to remain firm.

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By Lara Moscrip, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

What should be President-elect Obama's first economic priority?
  • Creating jobs
  • Solving the Wall St. crisis
  • Cutting taxes
  • Reducing spending
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 4.01%
15 yr fixed 3.12%
5/1 ARM 3.11%
30 yr refi 4.04%
15 yr refi 3.15%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Mortgage rates fell this week amid a pullback in consumer spending and a weaker job market.

Mortgage finance firm Freddie Mac reported Thursday that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.20% this week. That's down from 6.46% last week and below 6.24%, the rate at this time last year.

Even though interest rates were slightly lower this week, rates are fairly firm and likely to remain that way, according to Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates.

"From the mortgage-lender standpoint, the risks are rising," he said. "And because the risk of real estate lending remains so acute, the price of that money reflects the risks."

Lenders are tightening their credit standards in the face of a contracting economy and record home foreclosures, according to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) vice president and chief economist. A survey of senior loan officers from the Federal Reserve found that about 70% of banks raised their lending standards for prime mortgages, and about 90% of banks that offer nontraditional mortgages did so as well.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.88% from 6.19% last week. A year ago, the rate was 5.90%.

The five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 6.19%, from 6.36% last week. A year ago, the rate was 5.89%.

The rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 5.25% from 5.38% last week. At this time last year, the rate was 5.50%.

Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have been at 6% or higher for four straight weeks. Between the week of Oct. 9 and Oct. 16, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage posted its biggest weekly jump since April 1987, rising from 5.94% to 6.46%.

In September, the government took control of the mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac with a rescue plan that could inject them with $200 billion. To top of page

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