After a one week upward tick, mortgages rates resumed their general downward trend last week according to both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Freddie announced that its weekly mortgage survey found that the 30-year fixed rates mortgage averaged 5.71 percent with points and fees at 0.7 points for the week ending May 19. The previous week's average was 5.77 percent. The 15-year fixed was also down to 5.27 percent, .06 percent lower than the previous week. Fees and points, however, for both mortgage staples were up, 0.2 for the 30-year and 0.1 for the 15-year to an average of 0.7 for each.



While the conventional wisdom has predicted higher mortgage interest rates for 2005, fixed rates are down from the same period in 2005. One year ago the 30-year averaged 6.30 percent and the 15 year 5.67 percent.

The 5-year adjustable rate mortgage also fell to 5.07 percent from 5.21 percent but the 1-year ARM was up .03 percent to 4.26 percent. Both products carried fees and points averaging 0.7 percent. One year ago the 1-year ARM averaged 3.99 percent. Freddie Mac did not track the 5/1 until the beginning of 2005.

There was substantial regional variation in interest rates with the North Central region having the highest rates across the board and the Western region the lowest.

Region
U.S.
No. East
So. East
No. Central
So.West
Western
30 Year
5.71
5.73
5.66
5.86
5.67
5.65
15 Year
5.27
5.26
5.24
5.44
5.25
5.20
1 Yr ARM
4.26
4.21
4.13
4.63
4.32
4.10
5/1ARM
5.07
5.03
5.04
5.37
5.03
4.95

The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey also reported fixed rates mortgages down; the 30 year to 5.63 percent from 5.73 the previous week and the 15-year fixed down .04 percent to 5.24 percent. MBA's survey also showed an increase in the 1-year ARM to 4.21 percent, up .10 from one week earlier.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 4.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week of May 13 and was up nearly 15 percent from the same week in 2004.

Refinance activity headed up once again to 40.3 percent of all mortgage loan activity, a .04 percent increase and the ARM share of activity was also up to 34.8 percent compared to 33.9 percent the previous week.