Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mortgage rates set new record lows

CARD Act comes with
counseling disclosure mandate
Freddie Mac says fixed interest rate mortgages (FRMs) on 30-year conforming loans haven't been this low since Freddie Mac began its weekly survey in 1971. Fifteen-year FRMs are as low as they've been since 1991.

by Broderick Perkins
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Deadline Newsroom - Averaging 4.71 percent this week, fixed interest rate mortgages (FRMs) on 30-year conforming loans haven't been this low since Freddie Mac began its weekly survey in 1971.

Freddie's Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending Dec. 3 posted another record when the 15-year FRM averaged 4.27 percent, breaking last week's record low. This week's 15-year FRM average interest rate has never been this low since Freddie first included the 15-year FRM in its survey in 1991.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist said it's the fifth consecutive week the two rates have fallen. The rates also averaged one full percent point below averages at this time last year.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.19 percent, rising from 4.18 percent last week and 5.77 percent one year ago.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.25 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, compared to 4.35 percent last week and 5.02 percent a year ago. The last time the 1-year ARM was this low was the week ending June 30, 2005, when it averaged 4.24 percent.

"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," said Nothaft.

New and existing home sales in October were 36 percent higher than their January low on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Pending existing home sales also rose for the ninth straight month in October, representing the longest consecutive gain since the series began in 2001, NAR Reported.

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