November 12, 2009

Freddie Mac Weekly Update

30 Year Fixed Rate Falls Below 5 Percent

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending November 5, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.03 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.20 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.40 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 5.88 percent.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.35 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.42 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.19 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.47 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.57 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.25 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Mortgage rates fell back this week pulling interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages under 5 percent, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Lower mortgage rates should help homeowners lower their monthly payments and feed the ongoing recovery in the housing market. For instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have financed more than 3.5 million refinance loans during the first nine months of 2009.

Freddie Mac estimates that borrowers who refinanced their conventional loan during the third quarter reduced their interest rate by a median of 1.1 percentage points, which will save these borrowers an aggregate of $3 billion in mortgage payments over the next 12 months. Further, pending sales for existing homes rose for the eighth straight month in September to the strongest pace since December 2006, while spending on private residential construction jumped 3.9 percent and represented the largest gain since July 2003. In the third quarter of this year, residential fixed investment added almost a full percentage point to economic growth.

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