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Fixed Mortgage Rates Hold Steady, ARMs Drop

Mortgage rates held steady this week, at least the popular fixed-rate types used by most homebuyers, according to a report issued Thursday from Freddie Mac. The report showed that both the 15 and 30 year fixed-rate mortgages averaged the same rates as a week ago, with the 30-year going for 4.57 percent and the 15-year, commonly used for refinancing loans, remained at 3.59 percent. Both mortgage types are just one percentage point below 2 year highs, and both have risen dramatically over the past year. The 30-year loan was averaging 3.55 percent in the same week of 2012, while the 15 year was at 2.85 percent a year ago.

While fixed-rate mortgages held steady this week, hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rates fell. The 5 year ARM fell from last week's 3.28 percent to 3.22 percent this week, while the 1 year ARM dropped slid from 2.71 percent to 2.67 percent. A number of analysts have begun encouraging Americans to buy homes now, as rates are expected to rise considerably in the coming weeks, as soon as the Federal Reserve begins winding down its bond purchasing program designed to keep rates low. The Central Bank has been discussing the possibility of tapering the program in recent weeks, and is expected to begin winding the stimulus efforts down before the end of the year.

September 12, 2013