December 17, 2009

Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Update: Still Below 5 Percent

Mortgage Rates Follow Bond Yields Higher

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.94 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 17, 2009, up from last week when it averaged 4.81 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.19 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.38 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.32 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.92 percent.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.37 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.26 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.60 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.34 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.24 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.94 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Mortgage rates followed bond yields higher once again this week amid signs of an improving economy, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. On the consumer side, retail sales jumped 1.3 percent in November and consumer sentiment, as measured by the University of Michigan, rose above the market consensus forecast to the highest reading since September. Industrial production also showed large gains in November.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have remained below five percent over the past seven weeks and are contributing to a wave of refinance activity. Roughly three out of four mortgage applications were for refinancing during the first two weeks of December, according the Mortgage Bankers Association .

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six home buyers and more than five million renters.

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