Long-term mortgages reclaimed record low status this week as the 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) dropped to 4.78 percent.

This ties the record that was set on April 7 as the lowest interest rate recorded by Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey since it was started in 1970.

One week ago the survey reported the 30-year average at 4.80.  Fees and points both weeks averaged 0.7 point.

The 15-year FRM remained at the record breaking level of 4.48 percent for the third successive week, the lowest rate for this product since Freddie Mac began tracking it in August 1991.  Fees and points were also unchanged at 0.7.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) reached another new low, averaging 4.80 percent with .06 point.  Last week the hybrid averaged 4.85 percent also with 0.6 point.  Freddie Mac began keeping track of this mortgage product in January 2005.The one-year Treasury-index ARM decreased five basis points to 4.77 percent.  Last week when the average was 4.82 percent was the first time the short-term ARM had ever been lower than the 30-year FRM.  Fees and points for the one-year ARM, however, shot up this week from 0.4 point to 0.7 point.

"Rates for fixed-rate mortgages hovered at record lows this week as ARM rates eased further," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.  "Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, the most popular loan among homebuyers and families seeking to refinance, are more than 1.6 percentage points below the recent peak set at the end of October 2008.  For a $200,000 loan, this means a monthly savings of almost $212 in mortgage payments or over $2,500 per year.  In aggregate, borrowers who refinanced during the first quarter reduced their mortgage payments by about $2.5 billion over the coming year.

"The housing market may be edging towards a bottom.  Existing home sales stayed near its four-month average in March while new home sales were stronger than the market consensus.  More importantly, the inventory of unsold new homes fell to the lowest number since January 2002.  And, the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index did not show a record year-over-year decline in February for the first time since December 2006.  Finally, housing affordability hit record highs in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the National Association of Realtors, which date back to January 1971."

Weekly yields as announced by Fannie Mae for the week ended April 24 are as follows.

30-year conventional FRM increased from 4.40 percent during the previous week to 4.42 percent.

The 15-year conventional FRM was up 3 basis points to 4.10 percent.

Government-guaranteed FHA/VA 30-year loan yields which were 5.53 percent during the week ended April 17 increased to 5.58 percent for the most recent period.

The one-year ARM was also up from 3.35 percent to 3.38 percent.

All Fannie Mae yields are quoted net of servicing fees.