Industries Banking/Finance

Mortgage rates continue to drop on weak housing, economic data

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Concerns over a lagging economy pushed mortgage rates down again this week.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropped 0.5 percentage point this week to 4.55 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. Last year at this time, the average rate was 3.74 percent.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropped 0.4 percentage point to 3.74 percent, compared with 4.2 percent a year ago.

The drop in rates follows weak economic news.

“First quarter growth in consumer spending was revised downward by half of a percentage point to 2.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Activity, consumer confidence in May was weaker than the market consensus forecast, and the manufacturing industry slowed for the third straight month in May,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement.

The housing market continues to be weak as well.

The S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index fell 5.1 percent between the first quarters of 2010 and 2011, the largest drop since the third quarter of 2009, according to Nothaft.

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