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McLEAN, VA -- In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.67 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending March 7, 2003, down from 5.79 percent last week, and setting still another record low. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.87 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.01 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s average of 5.14 percent, also the lowest ever recorded since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.37 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.76 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from 3.83 percent last week. At the same time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 5.07 percent.

“The political and economic uncertainty of war in Iraq is wearing on the confidence of consumers and restraining business expansion,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. “That, in turn, translates into a weaker economy which places downward pressure on interest and mortgage rates.

“A Freddie Mac study released this week showed house price growth slowing to more normal levels. When coupled with falling mortgage rates, this means housing becomes more affordable to a larger segment of society so we expect 2003 will be another exceptional year for housing.”

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