Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged and near their record lows helping to keep housing affordability high for those borrowers who are in the market. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 8, 2011, down from last week when it averaged four percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.61 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.27 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.96 percent.
"Thirty-year fixed-rate loans have declined 0.62 percentage points from a year ago, and median sales prices on existing homes are off 4.7 percent in the year ending with October," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "These low rates and home prices have pushed housing affordability to record highs this year. For instance, the National Housing Affordability Index, which dates back to 1971, reached another all-time record high in October for the sixth time in 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors."
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.90 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.60 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.80 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.27 percent.
"Monthly principal and mortgage interest payments accounted for a mere 12.6 percent of median family incomes that month," said Nothaft. "This level of affordability likely contributed to the rise in conventional mortgage applications for home purchases over the week of Dec. 2 to the most in nearly a year."