Mortgage rates fell last week to their lowest point in nearly six months according to the results of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended November 1.

The average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) dropped to 6.26 percent with an average 0.4 point from the average the previous week of 6.33 percent with 0.5 point. This was the lowest average rate for the 30-year FRM since the week ended May 17 when it averaged 6.21 percent. One year ago this product carried an average rate of 6.31.

The 15-year FRM was down eight basis points to 5.91 percent with an average 0.4 point, a decrease of 0.2 point from the week ended October 25. This was the lowest rate for the 15-year FRM since the week ended May 10 when the average was 5.87 percent. One year ago the average was 6.02 percent.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 5.98 percent with 0.4 point compared to the previous week when it averaged 6.03 percent with 0.5 point. This is the lowest rate for this category of loan since May 17 when the average was 5.92 percent.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 5.57 percent, nine basis points lower than a week earlier. The average point was unchanged at 0.6. This rate tied with the last low that was recorded during the week ended May 31.

"October's consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since October 2005 as mortgage rates continued to decline this week to their lowest level in almost six months," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Continued market concerns about weaker economic growth and further declines in the housing market have kept mortgage rates low over the last few weeks.

"Although the third quarter gain in real gross domestic product (GDP) of 3.9 percent was stronger than market forecasts, the housing market has subtracted from GDP growth over the past twenty-one months ending in September. In its most recent policy announcement, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) noted that the rate of expansion in the economy will most likely slow in the near term, due in part to a reflection of the intensity of the housing correction."

The survey of lenders conducted weekly by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) showed a very slight increase in average rates for two of the three categories of loans it tracks.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage had an average contract interest rate of 6.16 percent compared to 6.15 percent a week earlier. Fees and points, including the origination fee, increased to 1.08 from 1.05.

The average rate for the 15-year FRM decreased from 5.79 percent to 5.77 percent with fees and points unchanged at 1.10.

The one-year ARM also increased one basis point to 5.94 percent with points decreasing to 0.9 from 0.93.

All MBA figures are for 80 percent loan to value originations.

Mortgage loan applications decreased 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier and 2.4 percent on an unadjusted basis. Application volume was 8 percent higher than that recorded during the same week in 2006.

Applications to refinance represented 49.1 percent of all mortgage applications compared to 49.6 percent a week earlier while the market share of adjustable rate mortgages decreased to 14.2 percent from 14.7 percent.