McLEAN, VA -- In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.91 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending March 28, 2003, rising from 5.79 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 7.18 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.21 percent, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week's average of 5.11 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.60 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.84 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from 3.75 percent last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 5.11 percent.

"Following the onset of the Iraq conflict, financial markets seem to have an upward bias for mortgage rates. Specifically, the market expects the conflict to end relatively soon, thereby allowing the business sector to shift its focus from the short-term to the long-term and begin activity that would spur economic growth," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

"However, that's not to say that uncertainty has diminished in any large way, but that it has shifted to a different set of unknowns."

Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation established by Congress in 1970 to create a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders in support of homeownership and rental housing. Freddie Mac purchases mortgages from lenders and packages them into securities that are sold to investors. Over the years, Freddie Mac has opened doors for one in six homebuyers in America.

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