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Rates Continue to Dip as Declining Prices and High Foreclosure Rates Continue Their Market Impact

Apr 28, 2011

Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), which shows mortgage rates falling for the second consecutive week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.78 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 28, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.80 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.06 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.02 percent. In 2010 at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.39 percent. "Mortgage rates followed Treasury bond yields lower this week amid weak local economic data reports on business conditions and house prices," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "Regional Federal Reserve Banks reported that business and manufacturing activities declined in Philadelphia, Dallas and Richmond in April. In addition, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index recorded year-over-year declines through February in 19 of the 20 markets." The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.51 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.61 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged four percent. "Declining home prices and a high level of foreclosures continue to affect housing tenure decisions," said Nothaft. "Between the third quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2011, the housing stock experienced a decline of nearly 400,000 homeowners on net, according to the Census Bureau. However, the National Association of Realtors reported that during the same period there were almost 700,000 first-time homebuyers, which suggests gross losses may have been closer to 1.1 million homeowners over the October-through-March timeframe."
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