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Mortgage Rates Ease Back Slightly to 3.93 Percent Amid Fed Policy Uncertainty

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jun 20, 2013

Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving slightly lower for the week as markets awaited the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement. This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.04 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.95 percent.   "Mortgage rates were relatively unchanged this week as market participants awaited the Federal Reserve's (Fed) monetary policy announcement," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. "The Fed stated that economic growth has been expanding at a moderate pace and that labor market conditions have shown further improvement, although the unemployment rate remains elevated. It noted inflation has been running below the Fed's longer-run objective as well. As a result, the Fed will continue its bond-buying program at the current pace and maintain its highly accommodative monetary policy stance." The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.79 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 2.77 percent. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.57 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.58 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.74 percent. "The Fed also affirmed that the housing sector has strengthened further," said Nothaft. "For instance, single-family housing permits increased nearly two percentage points in May to an annualized pace of 649,000 homes, the most since May 2008. In addition, homebuilder confidence in June rose to its highest reading since March 2006."
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