Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mortgage interest rates flat in New Year

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Informa reports mortgage interest rates stabilized this week and remained unchanged from a week ago. Rates are, however, up slightly from this time last year.

by Broderick Perkins
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Deadline Newsroom - Mortgage interest rates came in at 5.33 percent this week, the first of the New Year, remaining unchanged from the last report in 2009.

Calabasas, CA-based Informa Research Services' Interest Rate Review said for the week ending Jan. 5, 2009, the average fixed-rate mortgage (FRMs) on conforming 30-year loans, after rising all through December, was up from 5.26 percent a year ago.

For the week ending Jan. 5, Informa found the lowest FRM rate at 4.60 percent and the high average FRM interest rate at nearly 7 percent -- 6.96 percent. They were also unchanged from a week ago.

The average 15-year FRM was up to 4.75 percent, from 4.73 percent a week ago and down from 4.96 percent this time last year, according to Informa, a market research, analyses, and intelligence gathering service for the financial industry since 1983.

The average interest rate for the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) was also up slightly to 3.63 percent compared to 3.60 percent last week and well off the 4.28 percent last year at this time.

The FRM rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages and the 5/1 ARM rates are all based on a $200,000 purchase loan, with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio, for an owner-occupied, single-family residence.

Informa's National APR (annual percentage rates) numbers are tallied from the interest rates of some 200 mortgage originators.

Informa also reported the average rate for 30-year, non-conforming jumbo loans dropped from 6.35 percent last week to 6.25 percent this week and 7.02 percent a year ago.

Jumbo average rates averaged from a low of 5.10 percent to a high of 10.46 percent -- a shopping-around spread of more than 5 percentage points.

The jumbo averages are based on a $450,000 purchase loan with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio for an owner-occupied, single-family residence.

Rates were little changed for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) of $50,000, with an 80 percent loan-to-value note. On Jan. 5, the variable rate came in at an average 4.99 percent, compared to 5 percent a week ago and 4.48 percent this time last year.

The average FRM rates on 15-year home equity loans of $50,000, with an 80 percent loan-to-value note came in at 7.48 percent, up from 7.45 percent late last year, but down from 7.88 percent a year ago.

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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist, parlayed 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service, the San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group, including DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site, and the Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop.

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