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Mortgage rates resume slide
Hit lowest level since February; with inflation in check, little upward pressure seen.
May 19, 2005: 1:37 PM EDT
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 3.80%
15 yr fixed 3.20%
5/1 ARM 3.84%
30 yr refi 3.82%
15 yr refi 3.20%

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Mortgage rates fell last week, reaching a low not seen since February, despite incremental interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.71 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point payable up front, from 5.77 percent last week, the government-chartered mortgage company Freddie Mac said.

Last year at this time, the rate on the 30-year fixed-rate loan stood at 6.30 percent.

The 15-year mortgage rate averaged 5.27 percent, with an average 0.7 point payable up front, down from 5.33 percent the week before. The loan averaged 5.67 percent a year ago.

"It is remarkable how mortgage rates have remained so low for so long," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "But as long as inflation is held in check, there is little or no pressure to push mortgage rates higher. And at the moment, despite high fuel prices, core inflation does indeed seem to be a nonevent.

"Continuing low rates will keep the housing industry abuzz. As a matter of fact, both new and existing housing sales figures in April are expected to come in at or near record levels."

Last week long-term rates rose for the first time in five weeks.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.07 percent, with an average 0.7 point payable up front, falling from 5.21 percent the week before. There is no data available for a year-to-year comparisons since Freddie Mac only began tracking the 5-year loans this year.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.26 percent, with an average 0.7 point payable up front, up from 4.23 percent last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM rate averaged 3.99 percent.

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