30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 5.10 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 31, 2008, down from last week when it averaged 5.14 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.07 percent. The 30-year FRM has not been lower since Freddie Mac started the Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 1971.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.83 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.91 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.68 percent. The 15-year FRM has not been lower since March 25, 2004, when it averaged 4.70 percent।
Five-year Treasury indexed adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 5.57 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.49 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.78 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.85 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.95 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.47 percent.
Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the ninth straight week and represented a third consecutive all time record low since Freddie Mac's survey began in April 1971, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Since the end of October of this year, these rates have declined by about 1-1/3 percentage points, or payment savings of approximately $173 a month for a $200,000 loan. As a result, the number of refinance applications for conventional mortgages jumped over 500 percent between the weeks ending on October 31st and December 26th.
Lower rates and falling house prices are also making homeownership more affordable to potential homebuyers. For instance, house prices fell 18 percent over the 12-month period ending in October, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index. Every city posted a second consecutive month of decline in October. From its peak set in July 2006, the composite index is down 23.4 percent.
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