The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell from 6.18% to 6.14% over the seven-day period ended March 8, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate fell from 5.92% to 5.86%, the average rate for five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages declined from 5.93% to 5.90%, and the average rate for one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs decreased from 5.49% to 5.47%, Freddie Mac reported. Fees and points averaged 0.5 of a point for fixed-rate mortgages and hybrid ARMs and 0.6 of a point for one-year ARMs. "Mortgage rates slid further in the past week to the lowest level this year, as volatility in overseas stock markets led to questions about implications for the U.S. economy," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Uncertainties about the strength of the economy dominated the effects of other indicators, such as January's personal income growth and core inflation rate measured through the personal consumption report. Both increased at rates faster than had been expected, and potentially would have put upward pressure on interest rate. But the flight to quality due to the stock market's fall pushed bond yields down instead." A year ago, the average 30-year and 15-year fixed rates were 6.37% and 6.00%, respectively, and the average hybrid and one-year ARM rates were 6.03% and 5.45%, Freddie Mac said. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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