Mortgage rates hit 5-week low

Long-term mortgages rates moved lower again this week, hitting the lowest level in five weeks.

Freddie Mac’s weekly report says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.91 percent in the week ending Nov. 12, down from 4.98 percent last week. Rates on 30-year mortgages have been below 5 percent for five of the last seven weeks.

A year ago, 30-year mortgages were averaging 6.14 percent.

A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36 percent this week, remaining below one-year adjustable rate mortgages, which now average 4.46 percent.

“Mortgage rates eased further over the week, helping to promote an affordable home-purchase market and stimulate refinance,” said Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) chief economist Frank Nothaft. “This comes at a time when house price declines are moderating and consumer demand for prime mortgages at commercial banks has picked up.”

The National Association of Realtors this week said third quarter housing prices were down an average of 11.2 percent from a year ago, but 20 percent of the top metropolitan ares saw positive annual growth.

Sales continue to rise, with third quarter existing home sales up 11 percent from a year ago.

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