Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.88 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending April 17, 2008, unchanged from last week when it averaged 5.88 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.17 percent.
The 15-year FRM this week averaged 5.40 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.42 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.89 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.48 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.56 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.92 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.10 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it was 5.18 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.45 percent.
"Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages held relatively steady for a second week, while ARM rates continued to decline amid market speculation that the Federal Reserve (Fed) may cut rates again at its upcoming Committee meeting," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Marchs housing starts were the lowest since March 1991 and consumer sentiment in April fell to a 26-year low while homebuilder confidence remains near record lows. Currently, the federal funds future contracts suggest nearly a 100-percent probability that the Fed will cut rates at the end of this month.
"In its current regional review released on April 16th the Fed noted reports on real estate and construction were generally anemic for the residential sector and economic conditions have weakened since its last report. In addition, San Francisco Fed Bank President suggested, the economy has all but stalled and could even contract over the first half of the year in a speech the same day and that the downside risks to growth are significant."
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