Ho hum; another week, another record low mortgage rate.
Three of the four mortgage products tracked by Freddie Mac in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey hit new interest rate lows this week. For the 30-year it was the fourth time in 2009 that a new record has been established.
The survey which covers the week ended April 2 reported that the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 4.78 percent compared to the previous record low set last week of 4.85 percent. Fees and points were unchanged at 0.7 point. Freddie Mac has been tracking the 30-year FRM since 1971.
The 15-year FRM dropped to 4.52 percent with 0.7 point. Last week the rate set a historical low at 4.58 percent with 0.7 point. This weeks rate is exactly 1 percent lower than it was during the same week in 2008 and the lowest level reached by the 15-year since Freddie Mac began tracking it in 1991.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.92 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged a record 4.96 percent also with 0.7 point. The 5-year ARM has never been lower in the life of Freddie Mac's weekly survey, which dates back to 2005 for this product.
One year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.75 percent compared to 4.85 percent last week with fees and points unchanged at 0.6 point. While this was not a record for the one-year, it was the lowest point that product has reached since the week ended September 29, 2005 when it averaged 4.68 percent.
"Mortgage rates followed other interest rates lower this week amid reports of slower economic growth" said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The final estimate of economic growth in the fourth quarter was revised lower and personal incomes fell 0.2 percent in February, below the market consensus.
"On a positive note, pending existing home sales rose 2.1 percent in February, marking the second increase in three months as potential homebuyers are taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates and falling home prices. Serving as a spur to sales, housing affordability reached an all-time high in February 2009 since the series' inception in 1971, according to the National Association of Realtors®. By region, sales surged by nearly a third in the Northeast and Midwest, but fell in the West."
Fannie Mae's weekly yields for the week ended March 27, however, were mixed compared to those of the previous week.
The average yield for a conventional 30-year FRM was up to 4.34 percent from 4.29 percent during the week ended March 20. The 15-year FRM was down slightly, from 4.09 to 4.08 percent. The government guaranteed FHA/VA loan average for a 30-year FRM increased from 5.55 percent to 5.59 percent and the one-year ARM was down 10 basis points to 3.90 percent.
All Fannie Mae yields are reported net of servicing fees.