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MORTGAGE RATES DIP BELOW 6%

The average rate on a benchmark 30- year fixed mortgage fell to 5.98 percent this week, the first time since April it's been below 6 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

The decline from 6 percent a week earlier was the fifth straight decrease. The rate was the lowest since 5.94 percent for the week ended April 23 and four basis points above the year-ago level, Freddie Mac said.

The one-year adjustable rate rose to 4.12 percent this week from 4.02 percent, Freddie Mac said. The 15-year fixed rate declined to 5.39 percent from 5.40 percent.

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