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Mortgage rates drop for second straight week

Mortgage rates drop again

Mortgage rates drop again

Homebuyers looking for some good news in the housing marketplace are getting their fill today, as Freddie Mac reports that mortgage rates - both long-term and short-term - lowered for the second straight week.

Long-term plans - like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plan - dropped to 4.71 percent from a previous high of 4.77 percent. At this time last year, the same plan averaged over 5 percent.

Those that prefer short-term adjustable-rate plans are smiling as well, as five-year and one-year ARM plans dropped 3.72 percent and 3.23 percent respectively. Both of those rates hovered around 4.3 percent at this time last year.

Despite the mortgage rate declines, the Federal Reserve says the housing market remains slow. In a statement, vice president of Freddie Mac Frank Nothaft said the sluggishness of the housing market is "due to concerns about the pace of economic recovery, especially in employment."

The negative sentiment is likely tied to last week's unemployment report for the month of December. The unemployment rate did drop to 9.4 percent, but the number of jobs added to the economy fell short of expectations, adding 103,000 jobs instead of 150,000 as economists predicted.