For the week ending July 19, the 30-year fixed averaged 3.53 percent (0.7 point), down from 3.56 percent the previous week and 4.52 percent the year before. In all of 2012, the average 30-year fixed has only gone to 4.00 percent or higher for one week.
The average 15-year fixed for the week was 2.83 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.86 percent the week before and 3.66 percent at the same time in 2011. This week marks the eighth consecutive week that the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.00 percent.
The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also fell, averaging 2.69 percent (0.6 point), a drop from 2.74 percent last week. The 1-year ARM saw no changes, hovering at 2.69 percent (0.4 point).
Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac, explained how the low rates are aiding in the housing market’s recovery.
“With little signs of inflation and the Federal Reserve’s ‘Operation Twist’ keeping U.S. Treasury bond yields in check, fixed mortgage rates are remaining low and helping to stir the housing market,” said Nothaft. “For instance, the 12-month growth rate in the core Consumer Price Index has been in a narrow 2.1 to 2.3 percent band over the past nine months ending in June. Meanwhile, new construction on one-family homes rose for the fourth consecutive month in June to its strongest pace since April 2010 with builders restocking their lean inventories of new homes. In fact, homebuilder confidence for the next six months rose for the third month in a row in July to its highest reading since March 2007.”
Bankrate also posted new record lows, with the 30-year fixed falling to 3.78 percent from 3.79 percent the week before. The 15-year fixed averaged 3.04 percent, inching down from 3.05 percent in the previous survey. Meanwhile, the average 5/1 ARM rate fell to 2.89 percent, a slide down from 2.95 percent.
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