The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to a 3 1/2-month low of 7.05% this week, Freddie Mac said. The decrease, from 7.07% last week, brought the average to the lowest level since mid-February. It was the fourth decline in the five weeks since the average hit a 5 1/2-month high of 7.22% at the end of April. The recent declines are the result of renewed jitters over financial turmoil spreading to other developing countries and Russia. Fifteen-year mortgages fell to a 10-week low of 6.70% from 6.72% the previous week. It had hit a six-month high of 6.85% five weeks ago. On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.68%, down from 5.70% the previous week but still just under the 11-month high of 5.71%, reached three weeks ago. The rates do not include add-on fees called points.
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