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Mortgage Rates Again Plunge Slightly Below the Four Percent Mark
Nov 10, 2011

Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average mortgage rates changing little from the previous week amid a mix of economic data reports as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99 percent, dropping below four percent for the second time this year, with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Nov. 10, 2011. Last week, the FRM averaged four percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.17 percent. The 30-year FRM last dropped under four percent when it averaged 3.94 percent in the Oct. 6, 2011 survey. Also this week, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.30 percent, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.31 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.57 percent. "Fixed mortgage rates were little changed this week amid a mix of economic data reports," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "The economy added 80,000 net jobs in October, below the market consensus forecast, but employment gains over the prior two months were revised up by 102,000 and the unemployment rate fell to nine percent, the lowest in six months. Factory orders improved in September, yet the expansion in the service industry slowed in October." The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.98 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.25 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.95 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.88 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.26 percent. "Soft house prices and low mortgage rates have kept homebuyer affordability historically high, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)," said Nothaft. "In the third quarter, 74 percent of the NAR's metropolitan areas exhibited annual house price declines, compared to 72 percent in the second quarter. In addition, 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 4.3 percent in the third quarter as opposed to 4.7 percent in the second. These factors helped raise September's NAR Housing Affordability Index to the third highest reading on record which dates back to 1971."
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