Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), which shows a drop in long-term fixed rates this week, as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.95 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Feb. 24, 2011, down from last week when it averaged five percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.05 percent.
"Fixed mortgage rates eased again this holiday week amid mixed inflation data reports," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. "Although the core consumer price index for January rose slightly above the market consensus, house prices fell 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index. In addition, the level of the index was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2002."
The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.22 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.27 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.8 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.87 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.16 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.40 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.39 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.15 percent.
"Low mortgage rates and home prices are sustaining affordability in the housing market," said Nothaft. "Existing home sales rose for the third consecutive month in January and were at the strongest pace in eight months, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported; only the Northeast region experienced a slowdown in sales."
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