Mortgage Interest Rates Remain Near Record Lows

December 8, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Fixed rate mortgages dipped slightly this week with the 15-year fixed rate mortgage slightly above its all-time low while adjustable mortgages increased slightly following two weeks of setting new record lows according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS) for the week ending December 8th.

Fixed Rate Mortgages:

Interest rates on fixed rate mortgages dropped slightly from the previous week with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaging 3.99 percent with an average of 0.7 points, down from last week’s average of 4.00 percent. A year ago the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.61 percent.

It was the sixth consecutive week that 30-year fixed mortgage rates have been four percent or lower.

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.27 percent this week with an average 0.8 points, down from 3.30 percent the previous week, and down from 3.96 percent a year ago. That’s just one basis point above the 15-year mortgage’s record low of 3.26 percent.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages:

Interest rates for adjustable mortgages ended their two week streak of hitting record lows with the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaging 2.93 percent, up from 2.90 percent last week, with an average of 0.5 points. The 5-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 3.60 percent a year earlier.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.80 percent with an average of 0.6 points, up from 2.78 percent the previous week. A year ago, the 1 year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 3.27 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, stated, “Thirty-year fixed-rate loans have declined 0.62 percentage points from a year ago, and median sales prices on existing homes are off 4.7 percent in the year ending with October. These low rates and home prices have pushed housing affordability to record highs this year. For instance, the National Housing Affordability Index, which dates back to 1971, reached another all-time record high in October for the sixth time in 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Monthly principal and mortgage interest payments accounted for a mere 12.6 percent of median family incomes that month. This level of affordability likely contributed to the rise in conventional mortgage applications for home purchases over the week of December 2nd to the most in nearly a year.”

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages US NE SE NC SW W
Average 3.99 3.98 4.08 3.98 4.03 3.93
Fees & Points 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.6 0.7 0.7

15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages US NE SE NC SW W
Average 3.27 3.29 3.30 3.25 3.33 3.23
Fees & Points 0.8 0.7 0.9 0.7 0.8 0.8

5/1-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgages US NE SE NC SW W
Average 2.93 3.03 2.86 3.04 2.95 2.78
Fees & Points 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.6
Margin 2.74 2.74 2.75 2.73 2.76 2.73

1-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgages US NE SE NC SW W
Average 2.80 2.94 2.70 3.00 2.64 2.66
Fees & Points 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.5
Margin 2.76 2.78 2.75 2.73 2.77 2.75

The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot One Year Ago One Week Ago
  30-YR 15-YR 5/1-YR 1-YR ARM 30-YR 15-YR 5/1-YR 1-YR ARM
Average 4.61   3.96   3.60   3.27   4.00   3.30   2.90   2.78  
Fees & Points 0.7   0.7   0.6   0.6   0.7   0.8   0.6   0.6  
Margin N/A N/A 2.75   2.77   N/A N/A 2.74   2.75  

Tags: 15 year fixed, 30 year fixed, fixed rate mortgage, freddie mac, interest rates, mortgage rates, 5-year hybrid, 1-year treasury

Source:
Freddie Mac