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Fifteen Consecutive Weeks of Sub-Four Percent Mortgage Rates

Mar 15, 2012

Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending March 15, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.88 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.76 percent. Despite the 0.04 percent increase in rates, the average 30-year FRM has remained under the four percent for 15 consecutive weeks. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.97 percent. "An upbeat employment report for February caused U.S. Treasury bond yields to increase over the week and mortgage rates followed," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. "The economy gained 227,000 jobs, above the market consensus forecast, and revisions added another 61,000 to January and December. Job growth over the last six months was the strongest since 2006. In addition, the Federal Reserve's March 13th policy committee announcement noted that it anticipates the unemployment rate will decline gradually toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its mandate to achieve maximum employment with stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates." The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.83 percent for the week, with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.57 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.79 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.17 percent.
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