Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mortgage rates finally stop rising

Mortgage rates finally stop rising

By Holden Lewis ?
Mortgage rates finally stopped rising. Rates had gone up nine weeks in a row. This week, for the first time since early September, mortgage rates didn't rise.

The end of the longest rising-rate streak in 18 years is being celebrated in silence. The streets remain peaceful as home buyers observe the end of the remarkable run by wondering whether they should lock, in case rates resume their upward path again, or float, in case rates fall. There is no celebratory speech by the chairman of the Federal Reserve, nor are fireworks being discharged over the headquarters of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Calm reigns over this electrifying development in mortgage rates.

The benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage remained 6.42 percent, according to the national survey of large lenders. The mortgages in this week's survey had an average total of 0.35 discount and origination points. One year ago, the mortgage index was 5.76 percent. Four weeks ago, it was 6.17 percent.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose 3 basis points, to 5.99 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell 1 basis point, to 5.93 percent.

In Bankrate's weekly survey, the 30-year benchmark rate hasn't dropped since Aug. 31, when it"

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