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Interest rates dip slightly

A home is seen for sale in Mount

A home is seen for sale in Mount Lebanon, Pa., early in 2011. The average rate on the 30-year mortgage topped 5 percent this week for the first time since April. Higher rates could further hamper the struggling housing market ahead of the spring's prime home-buying season. Photo Credit: AP File, 2011

Six straight weeks of declines have brought fixed mortgage rates to new lows for 2011 -- but the slow downhill progression from already low levels has not excited the local mortgage industry, says Bryan Smith of Quality Financial Solutions in Commack.

“Rates are great, there’s no question about it. We are seeing people interested in buying homes, but just because the rates are down we’re not getting a flood of business,” he says. “Most of the people who have been interested in refinancing have done so already."

The average rate reported by Freddie Mac today is 4.6 percent for a 30-year fixed home loan, down ever so slightly from last week’s 4.61 percent. A year ago it was 4.84 percent.

For a 15-year fixed mortgage, the average declined from 3.8 percent last week to 3.78 percent this week. Rates for this loan type averaged 4.21 percent a year ago.

Adjustable-rate loans are also down. The five-year ARM averaged 3.41 percent, down from 3.48 percent last week and 3.97 percent a year ago. The one-year ARM dipped from 3.15 percent to 3.11 percent week over week. It was 3.95 percent this time last year.

Freddie Mac also reported today that the decline in U.S. home price indexes is slowing and may be nearing a bottom. Nationally, prices fell 0.3 percent between February and March, which was the smallest decline since November 2009.

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