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Mortgage rates remain near record lows

(MoneyWatch) Mortgage rates hovered around record lows this week according to the latest data from mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

The trouble in Europe, combined with speculation that the Fed could infuse more stimulus into the economy, kept a lid on this week's rates.

Mortgage rates for the week ending Sept. 6, 2012 are as follows:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.55 percent, down from last week's average of 3.59 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.
  • 15-year FRM averaged 2.86 percent this week, unchanged from last week. One year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.33 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.75 percent, down from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. At this time last year, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.96 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61 percent, down from last week's average of 2.63 percent. Last year at this time, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.84 percent.

"Mortgage rates were little changed over the holiday week amid mixed economic data releases," Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a press release. "Although consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July, representing the largest gain in five months, the core price index was unchanged suggesting little threat of inflation."

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Though mortgage rates will fluctuate slightly, it's probable they'll stay low for a while. Uncertainty about the election at home and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe mean the market will likely remain stagnant for months. The election is no magic bullet, though - whoever is elected will have a lot on their plate. We're on the edge of a fiscal cliff, and the president will have a big hill to climb to get those issues resolved.

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