Rates on 30-year mortgages took a dip this week, breaking an eight-week climb.

Rates on benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.30 percent, down slightly from 6.34 percent last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly survey.

Last week's performance had marked the eighth week in a row that rates on 30-year mortgages had gone up.

"The rise in mortgage rates stalled this week primarily because of rising tensions in other parts of the world, causing foreign investors to flee to the security of U.S. Treasuries," said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft. "Consequently, [bond] yields remained mainly unchanged from last week, and so did long-term mortgage rates."

Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also fell this week, to 5.67 percent from 5.72 percent. But rates for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages climbed to 3.99 percent from 3.90 percent.

The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year and 15-year loans each carried an average fee of 0.7 point this week, while one-year ARMs carried an average fee of 0.6 point.

This time last year, rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 5.34 percent, 15-year mortgages were at 4.73 percent and one-year adjustable mortgages stood at 3.61 percent.

Economists predict mortgage rates will slowly rise in the coming months. According to some projections, rates on 30-year mortgages could reach 6.4 percent or 6.6 percent by the final quarter of this year.

Still, economists believe home sales this year will come in close to the record highs of 2003, when ultra-low mortgage rates attracted buyers.

AWARDS . . . Fairfield Classic Homes was named Best in Show among the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association's Prince William chapter Builder Awards. The Haymarket-based company was recognized for its Fox Chase II single-family home at the Piedmont Riding Club.

EVENTS . . . "Keeping Housing Affordable in Washington" is the title of a program Tuesday from 6:30-8 p.m. at the National Building Museum. Ralph Bennett of the University of Maryland moderates a panel discussion exploring the challenge of creating and maintaining affordable housing in the region. Among panelists will be Conrad Egan, chairman of the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and Richard Y. Nelson Jr., former executive director of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. An exhibition, "Affordable Housing," will be open for viewing and continues through Aug. 8. Admission is $15, or $10 for students; registration is required.

PERSONNEL . . . AHC Management LLC announced that Richard J. Leeds has been named president and chief executive of the Arlington-based property management company.

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