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August 15, 2008 – Rates on 30-year mortgages remained at the same level for a third week while rates on other types of home loans posted small declines.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.52% this week. That was the same rate as the two previous weeks and represented the second highest rate of the year.

The highest rate so far this year was 6.63% hit for the week ending July 24.

Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, said 30-year mortgages did not budge because financial markets can’t decide whether the economy is getting weaker or is stabilizing.

He noted that retail sales came in weaker-than-expected for July while demand for consumer credit grew in June by more than twice the amount that economists had been expecting.

The nationwide Freddie Mac survey showed that other types of mortgages posted small declines this week.

Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, fell to 6.07%, down from 6.10% last week.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.02% this week, down slightly from 6.05% last week. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages dipped to 5.18%, down from 5.22% last week.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The nationwide average fee for 30-year mortgages and 15-year mortgages was 0.7 point. Five-year mortgages had an average fee of 0.6 point while one-year mortgages carried an average fee of 0.5 point.

A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.62%, 15-year mortgage rates averaged 6.30%, five-year adjustable-rate mortgages were at 6.35% and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages stood at 5.67%.

Source: FAR/Freddie Mac