September 18, 2009

Long Term Rates Down for Third Consecutive Week

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 5.04 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending September 17, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.78 percent. The last time the 30-year FRM was lower was the week ending May 28, 2009, when it averaged 4.91 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.47 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.50 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.35 percent. This is the lowest the 15-year FRM has been since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.51 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.67 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.58 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.64 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.03 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages eased for the third consecutive week and remained at 3-month lows,said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have averaged just above 5 percent through mid-September, which is roughly a percentage point below last year’s average and suggests that 2009 may reach a record annual low since the survey began in 1971.

Low mortgage rates are aiding new home construction. Housing starts for single family homes have increased consecutively over the five past months ending in July, although starts eased slightly in August. Moreover, homebuilder confidence improved for the third straight month in September, with all four regions showing positive gains, according the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index.

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