Mortgage rates declined very slightly during the week ended December 15 and December 16 according to survey result released by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.30 with fees and points at 0.5. This is a slight reduction from the 6.32 percent rate with 0.6 fees and points that prevailed for the week ended December 8.

The 15-year fixed was also down two basis points to 5.85 percent with fees declining the same 0.1 to 0.5 from the previous week.

Both the 5/1 hybrid adjustable rate mortgage and the 1-year ARM dropped one basis point to 5.77 percent and 5.15 percent respectively. Fees and points had a more dramatic drop; the 5/1 went from 0.7 to 0.5 while the 1-year retreated from the year high of 0.8 where it had been for two weeks to 0.6.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey reported larger decreases than Freddie Mac, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing to 6.22 percent from 6.28 percent and points down to 1.19 from 1.24, including the origination fee.

The 15-year fixed product dropped from 5.83 percent to 5.76 percent with points decreasing from 1.28 to 1.22 and the one-year ARM decreased from 5.50 to 5.41 percent although points increased from 0.94 to 0.95. All MBA survey results are for 80 percent loan to value originations.

MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of loan activity, decreased 4.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week and 5.2 percent on an unadjusted basis. Loan activity has definitely slowed since the same period one year ago; applications continued their recent pattern of lagging 2004 figures, down 15.2 percent compared to the same week last year.

Refinancing activity continues strong, currently representing 41.7 percent of all loan applications compared to 40.2 percent the previous week. Adjustable rate mortgages, however, decreased from 33.5 percent of all mortgage activity to 32.6 percent.