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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady for Second Week

""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com said Thursday that mortgage interest rates, while ""mixed"" this week, held ""steady"" for the second straight week.
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For the week ending June 23, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage matched last week's 4.50 percent (0.8 point). As a point of reference, a year ago at this time, the average 30-year rate was 4.69 percent.

The 15-year rate edged up to 3.69 percent (0.7 point) in Freddie's survey. Last week it was 3.67 percent, and last year at this time it was 4.13 percent.

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Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) trends varied in the GSE's study, which calculates average interest rates based on data collected from about 125 lenders across the country.

The 5-year ARM came in at 3.25 percent (0.6 point), down from 3.27 percent last week and 3.84 percent a year earlier.

The 1-year ARM inched higher from 2.97 percent last week to 2.99 percent (0.5 point) this week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.77 percent.

""Mortgage rates were virtually unchanged this week amid further indications of a soft housing market,"" said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's VP and chief economist.

""Although new construction on single-family homes ticked up in May from April, it was still below the overall pace set in 2010. Moreover, existing home sales fell 3.8 percent in May to the fewest since November 2010,"" he said.

Nothaft also pointed to the fact that the Federal Reserve again reiterated that ""housing remains depressed"":http://dsnews.comarticles/fed-chairman-points-to-distress-as-holding-housing-sector-back-2011-06-22 and a drag on the economy when the central bank issued its monetary statement following Wednesday's policy meeting.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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