Mortgage rates

WASHINGTON - Rates on 30-year mortgages dipped slightly last week as evidence grew of more troubles in the slumping housing market.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.69 percent last week, down from 6.73 percent the week before. The high point for this year was a rate of 6.74 percent hit in mid-June.

Various reports last week showed that the slump in housing, which had enjoyed boom conditions for five years, was continuing. Sales of both new and existing homes fell sharply in June and one of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders reported a sharp drop in profits for the second quarter because of rising loan defaults.

Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.30 percent last week, down from 6.35 percent the week before.

Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages edged down to 5.69 percent, compared with 5.72 percent the prior week.