The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 5.88% for the week ending Dec. 12 from 6.02% the previous week, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate fell from 5.36% to 5.24%, and the average rate for one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages was unchanged, at 3.77%. Fees and points averaged 0.6 points for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and ARMs and 0.7 points for 30-year FRMs. "Mortgage rates continue to be spectacularly low at present, especially when you consider that a generation ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was triple today's rates," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Not only does it look like the annual 30-year rate for 2003 will fall to the lowest level in the 32-year history of our survey, but next year's rates won't be a lot higher, according to our December forecast." A year ago, the average 30-year and 15-year fixed rates were 6.04% and 5.46%, respectively, and the average one-year ARM rate was 4.18%, Freddie Mac said. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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