30-Year and 15-Year Rates Still at Incredibly Low Levels
30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Average 0.7 point for the week ending December 31, 2009, up from last week when it averaged 5.05 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.10 percent.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.54 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.83 percent.
Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.54 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.83 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.33 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.38 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.85 percent.
Although long-term mortgage rates rose for the fourth week in a row, they still remain affordable by historical standards, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Based on todays median loan amount of $138,000, monthly principal and interest payments for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are close to one third less than a decade ago when rates peaked at 8.6 percent in May 2000.
This translates into almost 50 percent less in interest payments over the full 30 year term. Nationally, the housing market is slowly improving. House prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in October to the highest level since the beginning of 2009, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index . Eleven of the cities experienced positive growth.
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