The Wall Street Journal

 

WASHINGTON — Home-mortgage rates dropped this week, after a fall in commodity prices eased worries about inflationary pressures, Freddie Mac’s chief economist said.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.52% nationally, down from last week’s 6.63% average, according to Freddie’s weekly survey. The rate for that loan averaged 6.68% a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.07%, down from 6.18% last week. It averaged 6.32% a year ago.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages also averaged 6.07% this week, down from last week’s 6.16% average. The ARM averaged 6.29% a year ago. One-year ARMs averaged 5.27%, down from last week’s 5.49% and the year-ago 5.59%.

“Mortgage rates moved lower this week as a drop in commodity prices eased market concerns over inflation pressures,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “For instance, the Department of Energy reported that gasoline prices were the lowest since the end of May, and oil prices were at levels not seen since early May.”

According to a separate report released Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage applications were down more than 30% last week, compared with the year-earlier week. Application volume hasn’t been lower since the beginning of the decade.