Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.11 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Oct. 20, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.12 percent, accoridng to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) from Freddie Mac. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.21 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.38 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.37 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.64 percent.
"Mortgage rates remained relatively unchanged this week amid mixed economic data reports," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. "Retail sales were up 1.1 percent in September, almost four times the pace set in August, but consumer sentiment was down in October, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index. Finally, in its Oct. 9 regional economic review, the Federal Reserve reported that overall economic activity continued to expand in September, but contacts noted weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions."
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it also averaged 3.06 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.45 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.94 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.90 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.30 percent.
"The home construction industry had some good news for a change," said Nothaft. "The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index jumped four points in October, the largest one-month gain since April 2010. Housing starts sprang up 15 percent in September, largely driven by a spike in multifamily starts to a level last seen in 2008. Building permits on five-or-more unit buildings fell by 13 percent, however, suggesting that the multifamily building pickup may be temporary."