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Markets & Stocks > Bonds & Rates
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Fixed mortgage rates drop
graphic November 1, 2001: 1:33 p.m. ET

The 30-year FMR hits lowest point in three years; 15-year rate also down.
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - Fixed-mortgage rates slid this week, with the 30-year FMR hitting its lowest point since October 1998, while one-year adjustable-rate mortgages were virtually unchanged from the previous week.

    According to Freddie Mac, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped .08 percent from the previous week, which was down to 6.56 percent from 6.64 percent Oct. 26 and down from 7.73 percent in the same week last year.

    [Click here to compare real estate agents]

    The average this week for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.04 percent, a .09 percent drop from last week. A year ago, the same rate stood at 7.41 percent.

    One-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.26 percent, almost unchanged from last week's 5.25 average. The same mortgage averaged 7.12 percent at this time last year.

    "We are just starting to see economic data that reflect the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, giving us a clue as to what affect those events are having on the economy," said Robert Van Order, Freddie Mac chief economist. "It seems to be showing a considerable slowdown that is pushing us into a recession."

    Van Order added that mortgage rates tend to fall in response to slow home sales and drops in consumer confidence levels, and that he doesn't expect rates to increase in the near future.

    "Rates may continue to slip slightly into next week," he said.

     [Click here for a breakdown of U.S. mortgage rates by region]

    Freddie Mac (FRE: 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. graphic

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