Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows

It’s now more affordable than ever to take out a home loan. Freddie Mac reported Thursday that interest rates for fixed mortgages as well as the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage are all at record lows.

According to the GSE’s nationwide market study, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending December 15th, matching its all-time record low previously set on October 6, 2011.

The 30-year rate slipped 5 basis points from last week’s average of 3.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate was at 4.83 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage came in a 3.21 percent (0.8 point) this week. That marks a new record low, besting the previous low of 3.26 percent recorded on October 6, 2011.

Last week Freddie’s survey put the 15-year rate at 3.27 percent. Turn back the clock 12 months, and the 15-year rate was averaging 4.17 percent.

The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also set a new all-time record low this week at 2.86 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.93 percent last week and 3.77 percent a year

ago. Its previous low was set December 1, 2011 at 2.90 percent.

The 1-year ARM was the only loan product in Freddie’s survey to buck the downward trend this week, and it nudged only slightly higher.

Freddie pegged the average rate for a 1-year ARM at 2.81 percent (0.6 point), up from 2.80 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.35 percent. Its all-time low in the GSEs survey also came on December 1, 2011, at 2.78 percent.

Commenting on Thursday’s report, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, noted that rates came in at or near their historic lows amid a rough environment for housing.

“In its December 13th monetary policy announcement, the Federal Reserve reiterated the housing market remains depressed. Over the first nine months of 2012, households lost almost $400 billion in property values which contributed to a $1.4 trillion reduction in overall net worth,” Nothaft said.

He also pointed to recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which showed that serious delinquency rates – 90 or more days delinquent plus foreclosures – increased slightly between June 30 and September 30 of the year, breaking a six-quarter consecutive decline, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.”

Included in Freddie Mac’s report this week is a breakdown by region of the average mortgage rates for the various loan products covered in the GSE’s survey.

Rates are lowest in the West, which includes the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, as well as the U.S. territory of Guam.

Freddie Mac’s survey results by region are available online.] article written by Carrie Bay

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