The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.65 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.62 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.21 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 5.25 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.49 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.40 percent. The 5-year ARM has not been lower since the week ending September 8, 2005, when it averaged 5.24 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.65 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.62 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.21 percent.
Interest rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell for the 11th straight week to another record low, due in part to the slowing economy and government actions, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. So far, both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have added over $100 billion in liquidity to the mortgage market since September 2008, which put downward pressure on interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages. The Federal Reserve may add up to an additional $570 billion more this year, based on its November 25, 2008 announcement, to further shore up mortgage lending and keep rates low.
In December, the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent, the highest since January 1993, and the economy lost 2.6 million jobs over 2008, the largest annual drop since 1945. That brought down yields on Treasury securities and mortgage rates followed.
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