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Fiscal Cliff Concerns Keep Mortgage Rates at Bay

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Nov 29, 2012

Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing fixed mortgage rates virtually unchanged and remaining near their record lows amid growing concerns around the fiscal cliff. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 4.00 percent all but one week in 2012, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 3.00 percent since the last week in May. For the week ending Nov. 29, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.31 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged four percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.64 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.30 percent. "Mortgage rates were virtually unchanged this week amid growing concerns around the fiscal cliff," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. "Although low mortgage rates failed to boost new home sales in October, year-to-date sales are up 20 percent compared with 2011 volumes, and there are growing signs of a turnaround in house prices." The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.72 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.90 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.78 percent. "The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index (seasonally adjusted) rose 5.2 percent over the first three quarters of this year," noted Nothaft. "In addition, all 20 of the city indices (seasonally adjusted) had positive growth over the first nine months, led by a 17.9 percent increase in Phoenix. More recently, the Federal Reserve's Nov. 28 regional economic review, known as the Beige Book, noted that 10 of the 12 districts reported the market for single-family homes continued to improve leading into mid-November."
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