Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing fixed mortgage rates easing slightly and remaining near record lows to keep homebuyer affordability high and attractive to those looking to refinance, as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 13, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.34 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent.
Also this week, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.66 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.67 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.21 percent.
"Mortgage rates held relatively steady following the November employment report," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. "Although 146,000 jobs were created, above the market consensus forecast of 85,000, revisions subtracted 49,000 workers over the September and October period. The unemployment rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. However, in its December 12 monetary policy statement, the Federal Reserve (Fed) noted that this rate remains elevated and modified the statement to tie any increases to its target rate to the unemployment rate falling below 6.5 percent."
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.70 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.69 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.86 percent. Also this week, the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.55. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.81 percent.
"The latest Fed central-tendency forecast is for unemployment to be between 7.4 and 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and between 6.8 and 7.3 percent by late 2014," said Nothaft.