Mortgage rates around the country, which have been trending upward, dropped this week after rising for 10 consecutive weeks.
Freddie Mac said Wednesday in its weekly survey that rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.28 percent, down from 6.37 percent last week. The rate last week was the highest in more than two years.
Analysts attributed the decline to reduced fears on the part of investors about inflation getting out of control.
"Lower oil prices, at least compared to the last several months, have helped to alleviate some of the inflation fears that the market has been experiencing lately," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, often used for refinancing a home mortgage, averaged 5.81 percent this week, down from 5.90 percent last week.
One-year adjustable-rate mortgages dipped to 5.14 percent, compared with 5.20 percent last week. Rates on five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.75 percent this week, down from 5.86 last week.
The nationwide averages for mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year and 15-year mortgages each carried a nationwide average fee of 0.6 point; one-year ARMs had a 0.7 point fee; and five-year hybrid ARMs carried a fee of 0.8 point.
A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 5.72 percent, 15-year mortgages were at 5.15 percent and one-year ARMs averaged 4.27 percent. Freddie Mac does not have historical data on the five-year ARM, which it began tracking this year.
EVENTS . . . Nigel Howard, chief technology officer for the U.S. Green Building Council, is to discuss the proposed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for neighborhood development from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, Washington. The standards will measure the environmental performance of entire neighborhoods, based on how their design reduces vehicle travel, energy use, urban water runoff and other impacts. Registration is not required. Continuing-education credits can be earned by participating in the program.
On Friday, the museum, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners present a half-day symposium, "Building in the Aftermath: Housing in the Wake of Katrina and Other Disasters."
This program qualifies for continuing-education credits. The fee is $15 for museum and APA members; $22 for non-members; $12 for students. Prepaid registration is required. For information, call 202-272-2448; register at the Web site: www.nbm.org.
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