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Mortgage Rates Resume Journey Downward, Hit New Record Lows

After holding mostly steady last week, mortgage rates resumed the journey downward for the week ending July 22, 2010, ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ and ""Bankrate"":http://www.bankrate.com/ reported Thursday.

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According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.56 percent with an average 0.7 point this week, down from last week's average of 4.57 percent. Freddie Mac also reported a slight dip in 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. This week, rates averaged a record low of 4.03 percent with an average 0.7 point, falling from 4.06 percent last week.

""The decline in mortgages rates over the past few weeks echoes the recent signs of weakening confidence in the strength of the economy, particularly the housing and consumer sectors,"" said frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac VP and

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chief economist. ""We see these as part of the normal pattern of ebbs and flows in recovery and believe that there is sufficient momentum to carry the U.S. economy forward, albeit moderately.""

Bankrate reported the same downward movement in the realm of mortgage rates this week. The tracking company explained that mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government debt, into which investors go ""stampeding"" in times of economic uncertainty. Thus, the lingering uncertainty about whether the economy will get better or worse from here will keep rates at ultra-low levels, Bankrate said.

According to its weekly national survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.74 percent with an average 0.39 point this week, a small drop from 4.77 percent last week. Additionally, Bankrate said 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.18 percent with an average 0.37 point, edging down from last week's average of 4.23 percent.

Complementing Bankrate's survey is its weekly Rate Trend Index, in which mortgage experts predict which way rates are headed over the next week. According to the panelists, mortgage rates aren't headed anywhere, as 67 percent said rates will remain more or less unchanged over the next seven days. Just 22 percent said mortgage rates will rebound from current lows, and the remaining 11 percent said rates will decrease further over the coming week.

About Author: Brittany Dunn

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