The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edged down to 7.52% this week, marking the third straight weekly decline. The average was down from 7.58% last week, according to a weekly survey by Freddie Mac, the mortgage company. Mortgage rates, however, had been creeping up for the last two months. So far this year, they have varied from a low of 6.74% at the end of January to a high of 7.71% at the beginning of this month. Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, also declined in the latest Freddie Mac survey, dropping to an average 7.16% this week from 7.19% a week earlier. On one-year adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.97% this week, the same as the previous week. The rates do not include add-on fees known as points, which averaged at or just over 1% of the loan amount for all three types of mortgages.
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