Times Staff and Wire Reports

Long-Term Mortgage Rates Ease: Thirty-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 8.94% this week, down from 9.13% last week and the first retreat below 9% in more than three months, according to a survey by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. One-year, adjustable-rate mortgages had an average initial rate of 6.75%, unchanged from last week, Freddie Mac said. Economists said the figures on fixed-rate mortgages may have been a downward blip in an otherwise upward trend. The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Rates on 15-year mortgages, popular with homeowners seeking to refinance, averaged 8.59% this week, down from 8.76% a week earlier.

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