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Mortgage Rates Edge Down

March 2, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Mortgage rates edged down again this week reflecting investors’ belief that the Federal Reserve is on top of inflation.

The average interest rate on 30-year mortgages slipped to 8.27 percent for the week ending March 3, down from 8.31 percent the week before, according to a weekly survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company.

Two weeks ago, the rates on 30-year mortgages hit a 3 1/2-year high of 8.38 percent. That was the highest since a 8.42 percent rate for the week ending July 12, 1996.

Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, also fell this week with an average rate of 7.84 percent, compared with the average rate of 7.92 percent last week.

On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 6.68 percent this week, down from 6.73 percent the previous week.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points, which averaged at or just over 1 percent of the loan amount for all three types of mortgages.

``Recent speeches and testimony by the Fed have spurred market confidence that it will stay on top of inflation by taking appropriate actions, thereby stabilizing long-term interest rates,″ said Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Robert Van Order.

Separately, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America said that mortgage loan applications for the week ending Feb. 25 decreased 3.1 percent from the previous week and were down 40.7 percent compared with the same week last year.

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