February 4, 2010

Freddie Mac Weekly Update

Long Term Mortgage Rates Remain Stable and Low

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 5.01 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 4, 2010, up from last week when it averaged 4.98 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.25 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.40 percent with an average 0.7 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 4.39 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.92 percent.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.27 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.25 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.26 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.22 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.29 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.92 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Mortgage rates remained relatively stable for a second week amid news of a strengthening housing market, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Residential fixed investment rose for two consecutive quarters over the last half of 2009 following a steady quarterly decline since the beginning of 2006. Pending existing home sales rebounded by 1 percent in December from a record drop in November that was due in part to the original expiration of the homebuyer tax credit, according the National Association of Realtors . More recently mortgage applications for home purchases jumped 10 percent at the end of January, according to figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association .

Even more encouraging news came from the Federal Reserves Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey , which reported that banks have generally stopped tightening standards on most types of loans in the fourth quarter of 2009, with commercial real estate as the exception. However, banks have yet to unwind the tightening that occurred over the last two years. Moreover, substantially fewer banks expected credit quality to deteriorate over the coming year.

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