Mortgage rates fell again during the week ended September 18 according to data from its Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on Thursday by Freddie Mac.  The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.78 percent for the week with 0.6 point.  One week ago the average was 5.93 percent with 0.7 point.  This is the fifth straight week that the 30-year FRM has fallen and the lowest level for the product since the week of February 14 when the average was 5.72 percent.

The 15-year FRM averaged 5.35 percent with 0.6 point compared to last week when the average rate was 5.54 percent with 0.7 point.  The last time the 15-year mortgage was lower was the week ended March 27 when it reached 5.34 percent.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) carried an average contract interest rate of 5.67 for the most recent week. This is 20 basis points lower than the week ended September 11.  Fees and points both weeks averaged 0.7 point.  The most recent low for the hybrid ARM was during the week ended June 25 when it averaged 5.51.

The one-year ARM averaged 5.03 percent with 0.5 point.  The week before the rate was 5.21 percent with 0.6 point.  This is the low point for the one-year since July 27 when the rate was 5.1 percent.

“Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the 5th consecutive week, amounting to a total decline of about 0.75 percentage points,” according to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.  “As a result, mortgage applications have surged nearly 58 percent since August 15th, largely led by a 122 percent gain in applications for refinancing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

”The MBA also reports that fixed-rate mortgages are currently the predominant choice among homebuyers and families looking to refinance,” Nothaft said.  “Over the first two weeks of September, 95 percent of new applications were for fixed-rate mortgages.  Since the end of 2007, the number of ARM applications fell by almost 50 percent.”