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Freddie Mac survey finds rates remain below five percent this week

May 20, 2010

Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.84 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending May 20, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 4.93 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.82 percent. Once again, the 30-year FRM has not been lower since the week ending Dec. 10, 2009, when it averaged 4.81 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.24 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.50 percent. The 15-year FRM has not been lower since Freddie Mac started tracking the 15-year FRM in August of 1991. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.91 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 4.79 percent. This breaks last week’s record and, again, the five-year ARM has not been lower since Freddie Mac started tracking the five-year ARM in January of 2005. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.00 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.02 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.82 percent. The one-year ARM has not been lower since the week ending Oct. 28, 2004 when it averaged 3.96 percent. Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage. “Mortgage rates eased back once again this week to the lowest level of the year,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Low mortgage rates, coupled with the homebuyer tax credit, helped strengthen the housing market in the first four months of the year. New construction on one-family homes rose for the fourth consecutive month in April to an annualized rate of nearly 0.6 million units and represented the strongest pace since August 2008. Three of the four Census regions showed increases, led by a 14.8 percent jump in the South. “Moreover, homebuilder confidence rose for the second straight month in May to the highest level since August 2007, according the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. For more information, visit
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