The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 5.40% for the week ending March 26 from 5.38% the previous week, while the average rate for adjustable-rate mortgages sank to another record low, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate inched up from 4.69% to 4.70%, and the average rate for one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs declined from 3.39% to 3.36%, the lowest the rate has been since Freddie Mac began tracking it in 1984. Fees and points averaged 0.6 of a point for ARMs and 0.7 of a point for fixed-rate mortgages. "Low mortgage rates continue to fuel the housing market, making homeownership more attainable to a broader segment of families," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "As evidence of this, we have seen mortgage applications rise for the last two months and home sales have picked up speed. And with the weather getting better, we should see housing sales strengthen even more in the near term." A year ago, the average 30-year and 15-year fixed rates were 5.91% and 5.21%, respectively, and the average one-year ARM rate was 3.84%, Freddie Mac said. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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