Mortgage rates drop under 5 percent

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Fixed mortgage rates fell this week on mixed inflation data.

The average 30-year, fixed rate mortgage was 4.95 percent this week, down from 5 percent last week. A year ago this week, the average rate was 5.05 percent.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage also fell 0.5 percentage point this week to 4.22 percent. A year ago the average rate was 4.4 percent.

“Fixed mortgage rates eased again this holiday week amid mixed inflation data reports,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement. “Although the core consumer price index for January rose slightly above the market consensus, house prices fell 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index . In addition, the level of the index was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2002.”

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