October 1, 2009

Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Rate Commentary: Mortgage Rates Low, Increasing Affordability

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Aaveraged 4.94 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending October 1, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.04 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.10 percent. The last time the 30-year FRM was below 5 percent was the week ending May 28, 2009, when it averaged 4.91 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.36 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.46 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.78 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 4.42 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.00 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.49 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.52 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.12 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Low mortgage rates are helping to stabilize home sales, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. New home sales in August rose to the highest annualized pace since September 2008 and the inventory of unsold houses fell to the lowest level since February 1983. Although existing home sales fell somewhat in August, it was still the second strongest showing in 23 months. Furthermore, house prices increased for the second month in a row in July, after adjusting for seasonality, based on the 20-city composite S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index®. Moreover, the increases were more broad-based in July with house prices rising in 17 of these metropolitan areas, compared to 16 in June

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