The 30-year fixed mortgage rates remained below 5% in the week ending March 18, averaging one basis point higher from last week to 4.96%, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey. 

Despite the attractive levels below 5% since March 4, refinancing activity response has been muted with the Refinance Index slipping 3.2% over the two weeks ending March 12 even as 30-year fixed rates dropped a cumulative 10 basis points.

The Refinance Index is expected to hold around the 3000 level for the week ending March 19. 

In other lending programs, 15-year fixed mortgage rates also increased one basis point to 4.33%; 5/1 hybrid ARMs rose four basis points to 4.09%, while one-year ARM rates averaged 4.12% compared to 4.22% in the previous report.

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