September 7, 2009

Freddie Mac Weekly Update: Bond Yields Push Mortgage Rates Down

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 5.08 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending September 3, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.14 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.35 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.54 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.90 percent.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.67 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.97 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs:Average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.69 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.15 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Bond yields pushed mortgage rates slightly lower this week, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Low mortgage rates are helping to keep housing very affordable. Seven of the top eight most affordable months occurred during this year, according to the National Association of Realtors’® (NAR) Housing Affordability Index, which dates back to 1971. As a result, pending sales of existing homes rose for the sixth straight month in July, a trend not seen since the NAR began reporting data in 2001. Moreover, July’s sales were the strongest since June 2007.

Overall, inflation remains in check while certain sectors of the economy are experiencing some improvement. The core price index on consumer expenditures, a key indicator tracked by the Federal Reserve, rose 1.4 percent in July from the same time a year earlier and represented the smallest 12-month increase since October 2003. Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry expanded for the first time in 19 months, according to the Institute of Supply Management

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