Average fixed mortgage rates have fallen for the eighth consecutive week in a row, according to Freddie Mac.The average 30-year rate dropped to 5.81% during the week ending Aug. 19 from 5.85% the previous week and the average 15-year rate declined to 5.19% from 5.24% during the same period. The average one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable rate mortgage rate also moved downward to 4.01% from 4.08% the previous week. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages had an average of 0.6 points and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages had an average of 0.7 points. "Mortgage rates eased even further this week in response to a setback in economic growth during June and possibly July," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "However, we believe the slowdown to be temporary and we expect growth to pick back up in the second half of this year." A year ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.24%, the average 15-year mortgage rate was 5.58% and the average one-year Treasury-indexed ARM rate was 3.75%. Freddie Mac can be found on the Web at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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