30 Year Fixed Rate Falls Below 5 Percent
30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.71 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 3, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 4.78 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.53 percent. The 30-year has never been this low since Freddie Mac began its weekly survey in 1971.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.27 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.29 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.77 percent. The 15-year FRM has never been this low since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991, and breaks the record low set last week.
Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.19 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 4.18 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.77 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.25 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.35 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.02 percent. The 1-year ARM has not been this low since the week ending June 30, 2005, when it averaged 4.24 percent.
Interest rates for 30 year and 15 year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the fifth consecutive week to an all time record low while the average rate on 5-year ARMs hovered near its record set in the previous week, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
In addition, interest rates on 30 year and 15 year fixed mortgages thus far in 2009 averaged one percentage point below their respective average in 2008. Low mortgage rates and the cumulative decline in house prices have contributed to an extremely affordable housing market and helped spur home sales this year. For instance, total new and existing home sales in October were 36 percent higher than their January low on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Association of Realtors (NAR ). The NAR also reported that pending existing home sales rose for the ninth straight month in October, representing the longest consecutive gain since the series began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors . Seven of those months were the most affordable on record dating back to 1971, based on the NARs Housing Affordability Index
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