September 11, 2009

Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Rate Commentary: Bond Yields Push Mortgage Rates Down

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 5.07 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending September 10, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.08 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.93 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.50 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.54 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.54 percent.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.51 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.59 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.87 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs:
Average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.62 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.21 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Mortgage rates remained historically low over the past two weeks, keeping housing very affordable, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. As a result, mortgage applications leapt 17 percent over the week ending September 4, led by a 23 percent jump in refinancing demand, according the Mortgage Bankers Association. In fact, nearly three out of five applications were for refinancing current loans.

While the economy lost 216,000 jobs during August, it was the smallest monthly job loss since August 2008. This and the Federal Reserves latest Beige Book suggest that the economy may be on the road to recovery. Based on information up through late August, most Federal Reserve Bank districts noted that their business contacts remained cautiously positive that economic activity was stabilizing in July and August. Two out of the 12 districts also indicated that local house prices were firming

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