Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), which shows interest rates increasing slightly with the 30-year fixed sitting at 4.86 percent, with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 31, 2011, up from last week when it averaged 4.81 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.08 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.09 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.04 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.39 percent.
"Fixed mortgage rates rose slightly for a second week in a row, but continue to remain quite low," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "Low rates have benefited from relatively benign inflation reports. Inflation as measured by the 12-month growth in the core price index for consumer spending, a metric preferred by the Federal Reserve, is hovering near the lowest pace since 1960 when this data series began."
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.70 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.62 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 4.10 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.26 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.05 percent.
“Sales of distressed properties continue to place downward pressure on house prices," said Nothaft. "In January, these homes accounted for 37 percent of existing home sales and rose to 39 percent in February, based on figures from the National Association of Realtors. House prices were down 3.1 percent in January from the same month last year according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.”