Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.37 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending July 18, 2013, down from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.53 percent for the week. The 15-year FRM also averaged 3.41 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week, down from last week when it averaged 3.53 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.83 percent. "Fixed mortgage rates fell as Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Bernanke helped ease market concerns about the Fed reducing its bond purchases. During a question and answer session following a speech on July 10th, Chairman Bernanke indicated that a highly accommodative monetary policy is what's needed in the U.S. economy," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.26 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.69 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.66 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.69 percent. "Indications of a slowing in the economic recovery also placed downward pressure on mortgage rates," said Nothaft. "Consumer sentiment fell to a three-month low in July while retail sales in June grew by only 0.4 percent, which was half of the market consensus forecast. In addition, housing starts fell in June to the slowest pace since August 2012."