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Mortgage Rates Decline

February 5, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell this week to 7.03 percent, Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, said Thursday.

The decline, from 7.12 percent, follows two increases. Three weeks ago, the rate sank to a four-year low of 6.89 percent as Asian financial turmoil spurred investment in the United States.

In general, mortgage rates have been declining since April 1997, when the 30-year average hit 8.18 percent just after the Federal Reserve last tightened monetary policy.

Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, averaged 6.62 percent this week, down from 6.70 percent last week.

On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.57 percent, down from 5.59 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points.

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