Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving lower for the fourth consecutive week continuing to support the ongoing housing recovery. This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.41 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.88 percent.
Also this wek, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a new all-time record low at 2.61 percent for the week, as did the five-year ARM at 2.58 percent. The previous record low for the 15-year fixed was 2.63 percent set the week of Nov. 21, 2012. Last week, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.64 percent, and a year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.12 percent.
"The housing market is getting a boost with mortgage rates hovering at or near record lows," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. "For instance, existing home sales averaged an annualized pace of 4.94 million over the first three months of this year, the most since the fourth quarter of 2009."
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.58 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.60 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.85 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.74 percent.
"New home sales topped 424,000 during the first quarter, which was the strongest since the third quarter of 2008," said Nothaft. "The sales pickup is helping to support house-price gains. For instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that February marked the 13th consecutive month that it has recorded an annual rise in its U.S. house price index, which rose by 7.1 percent in the twelve months through February, the most since May 2006. Even with these gains, this U.S. index is still 13.6 percent below its peak set in April 2007."