From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fixed Mortgage Rates Decline: Interest on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 8.56% this week, down from 8.77% last week, according to a national survey by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. The average was the lowest since May 5, when it was 8.53%. The average hit a 25-year low of 6.74% last October. Lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.58% on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages, up from 5.54% last week.

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