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NEW YORK CITY-While the US economy keeps expanding, the housing sector is showing signs of cooling off, judging from recent declines in mortgage rates here. The August report of the Manhattan Mortgage Co., a co-op, condo and home finance firm, reveals that the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined from 8% to 7.875% during the month, and 30-year fixed-rates fell from 8.5% to 8.25%.

Adjustable rates also declined. One-year mortgages fell from 7% to 6.875%, three-year products declined from 7.875% to 7.625% and five-year mortgages slipped from 8% to 7.87%. Seven-year adjustables went from 8.25% to 8.125%, and 10-year adjustables averaged 8.25% compared to 8.375% in July.

Of all these mortgage options, co-op and condo buyers clearly favored the five-year adjustable; 39% signed for them. The 30-year fixed came in second, garnering 26% of the market.

Data for the report was collected from more than 30 lending institutions serving the New York-area residential market.

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