Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year ends with mortgage interest rates on the rise

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The current average 30-year FRM, at 5.14 percent, is up from 5.05 percent last week, and up from 5.10 percent a year ago.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2009 DeadlineNews.Com

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Deadline Newsroom - The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rose further above the 5 percent market to 5.14 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).

For the week ending New Year's Eve, the rate comes with a 0.7 percent point. One point is one percent of the total amount financed.

"Although long-term mortgage rates rose for the fourth week in a row, they still remain affordable by historical standards," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

"Based on today's median loan amount of $138,000, monthly principal and interest payments for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are close to one-third less than a decade ago when rates peaked at 8.6 percent in May 2000. This translates into almost 50 percent less in interest payments over the full 30-year term.

The current average 30-year FRM, at 5.14 percent, is up from 5.05 percent last week, and up from 5.10 percent a year ago, Freddie said.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.54 percent with an average 0.7 point, also up from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent, but down from year ago at this time, when the 15-year FRM averaged 4.83 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) averaged 4.44 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, nearly unchanged from the 4.40 percent average last week, but more than a full percentage point below 5.57 percent from a year ago.

The week ending Dec. 31, the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.33 percent, plus an average 0.6 point. Last week the rate was 4.38 percent. Last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.85 percent.

Nothaft said, "Nationally, the housing market is slowly improving. House prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in October to the highest level since the beginning of 2009, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index. Eleven of the cities experienced positive growth."

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