NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Mortgage rates dropped for the fifth consecutive week as limited growth in consumer spending and personal income indicated inflation still is not a threat to the U.S. economy, according to a survey released Thursday.
Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year mortgage averaged 6.78 percent in the week ending May 3, with an average of 0.7 point payable up front to the lender. The rate fell from last week's average of 6.88 percent and reached the lowest level since Nov. 23, 2001, when it hit 6.75 percent. The 30-year mortgage averaged 7.14 percent a year ago.
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The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.26 percent, down from 6.35 last week and 6.66 percent a year earlier. The 15-year also average 0.7 point payable up front.
In addition, one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 4.75 percent, with an average of 0.8 point, down from 4.91 percent last week and 6.0 a year ago.
"There seems to be some concern in the marketplace that the economic recovery will be slower than expected , lessening the fear of inflation," Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said. "As a matter of fact, personal income and consumer spending growth for the first quarter were moderate and showed inflation to be well constrained."
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Freddie Mac (FRE: down $0.20 to $66.30, 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.