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Mortgage rates fall again, hit new lows

(MoneyWatch) Fixed mortgage rates continue to fall, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) has matched or hit a new record low for 10 of the last 11 weeks.

The 1-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also reached a new low this week.

Mortgage rates for the week ending July 5, 2012, are as follows:

The 30-year FRM averaged 3.62 percent, down from last week's average of 3.66 percent. One year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.60 percent.

The average for a 15-year FRM was 2.89 percent this week, down from last week's average of 2.94 percent. At this time last year, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.75 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed ARM rates averaged 2.79 percent, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.30 percent.

A 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.68 percent this week, a new record low. This is down from last week's average of 2.74 percent, and a significant decrease from last year's average of 3.01 percent.

"Recent economic data releases of less consumer spending and a contraction in the manufacturing industry drove long-term Treasury bond yields lower over the week and allowed fixed mortgage rates to hit new all-time record lows," Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a press release Thursday.

"Growth in personal expenditures was revised downward to an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in the final GDP estimates for the first quarter of the year," Nothaft continued. "In addition, monthly consumer spending in April was revised from a 0.3 percent gain to 0.1 percent and was unchanged in May. Finally, the Institute for Supply Management reported that manufacturing shrank in June, the first decline since July 2009."

New taxes on forgiven mortgage debt to hit homeowners
How big of a house do you need?

If you have the cash and are on the market for a new home, now's the time to dive in. The combination of low mortgage rates and affordable home prices make this a great time to buy. Just make sure your credit is in good shape, since lenders are less willing to write loans for "risky" borrowers.

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