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Mortgage Rates Remain Unchanged

Three key mortgage rates stayed unchanged from the previous week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

The average 30-year fixed rate was 6.92 percent, unchanged from last week's average rate. The nationwide average rate has stayed below 7 percent since June 11. A year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 7.58 percent.

"Interest rates have not been this low for this long since we started doing our weekly survey in 1971," Freddie Mac's Chief Economist Robert Van Order said.

Fifteen-year fixed rate mortgages were also unchanged from the week-ago rate at 6.61 percent. Fifteen-year mortgages are often used for refinancing.

One-year adjustable-rate mortgage rates stayed steady at 5.58 percent. A year ago, the ARM was 5.62 percent.

All of the rates have average fees and points of 1.1, consistent with patterns shown over the last few months. Fees and points are charges consumers must pay when they take out their loans. One point is 1 percent of the loan's value.

Thirty-year mortgage rates usually follow 30-year Treasury bond yields. Thursday, 30-year Treasuries advanced 16/32, to yield 5.39 percent as investors fled stock markets to the safety of U.S. government bonds.

With stock markets reeling worldwide, "it is our expectation that the mortgage rates will be even lower this week," Van Order said.

Written By By Tiare Rath