Freddie Mac Reports 30-Year Fixed-Rate Teetered Back Below 4%
By: Esther Cho
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage positioned itself back below 4 percent this week as economic indicators point to a weaker housing market and economy, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
“The S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Composite home price index slid in January to its lowest reading since December 2002,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “In addition, new home sales declined 0.5 percent in February, below the market consensus of an increase, and pending existing home sales also declined for the month.”
Last week, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 4.08 percent, above 4 percent for the first time since October 2011. This week ending March 29, the 30-year averaged 3.99 percent (0.7 point), barely below the 4 percent mark. The 30-year is still below last year’s average at this time, when it was 4.86 percent.
The 15-year fixed rate mortgage slipped to 3.23 percent (0.8 point). Last week, it averaged 3.30 percent and 4.09 percent a year ago at this time.
The 5-year ARM lowered to 2.90 percent (0.8 point) this week, compared to last week’s average of 2.96 percent, and still lower than last year’s 3.70 percent.
The 1-year ARM also dipped down, averaging at 2.78 percent (0.6 point ). Last week, it averaged 2.84 percent, and last at this time it was 3.26 percent.
Bankrate also reported a drop in rates, with the 30-year fixed-rate down to 4.23 percent compared to 4.29 percent last week. Bankrate conducts a national weekly mortgage survey using data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.44 percent and averaged 3.48 percent last week. The 5-year ARM also moved lower, averaging at 3.14 percent. Last week, it averaged 3.24 percent.
According to a release from Bankrate, renewed concerns about the effect of higher gasoline prices on the U.S. economy as well as slower growth in China contributed to the lower rates this week.
The consumer finance company also noted that the last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008, which means that a $200,000 loan with a 30-year fixed rate at 6.33 percent would have a monthly payment of $1,241.86, compared to a $981.54 month payment with the average rate of 4.23 percent.
Since its launch, DS News magazine has positioned itself at the forefront of an
evolving industry. Always current with the most up-to-date
default servicing news, DSNews.com keeps you informed through daily Web casts,
community forums, and a wide range of industry resources.