Traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have survived "the so-called 'mortgage meltdown'," and homebuyers are flocking to them, according to Susan M. Wachter, professor of real estate and finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.With support from Genworth Financial Inc., Professor Wachter released her third-quarter 2007 U.S. Mortgage Payment Index, which evaluates mortgage products to see which ones offer the best value. The index shows that borrowers and lenders opted for safer mortgages in the first half, with adjustable-rate mortgage applications dropping 46.9% from September 2006 to September 2007 while applications for fixed-rate loans rose 30.2%. "It's encouraging to see that consumers have not been scared off by the 'credit crunch' and 'mortgage meltdown' talk, and are returning to secure, tried-and-true home financing," Ms. Wachter said. "This trend emerged in the first half of 2007, and I expect it to continue as homebuyers become more informed about their mortgage options and lenders rein in risky products." The index can be found online at http://www.genworth.com/mortgageinfo.

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