After two weeks of modest increases, mortgage rates drifted down during the week ended August 6 according to results of Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on Thursday.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.22 percent for the week compared to 5.25 percent a week earlier.  Fees and points also were down from 0.7 point to 0.6 point.

The 15-year FRM averaged 4.63 percent, down six basis points from the week before.  Fees and points decreased to 0.6 point from 0.7 point.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) decreased slightly to 4.73 percent with 0.6 point from 4.75 percent also with 0.6 point.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs had the same small two point drop to 4.78 percent.   Fees and points were unchanged at 0.5 point.

"Better-than-expected economic reports helped to keep mortgage rates low this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.  "The economy slowed by an annual rate of 1 percent in the second quarter, which was more positive than market forecasts."

"Homebuyer demand improved as well, aided by high levels of housing affordability.  The first half of this year contained the top six months with the most affordable housing conditions since the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) began calculating its Housing Affordability Index in January 1971.  As a result, pending existing home sales rose for five consecutive months ending in June, a trend not seen since July 2003.  In June, a typical family would have devoted 15.7 percent of their gross income to mortgage principal and interest payments, the NAR explained."

Earlier in the week Fannie Mae released its posted yields for the week ended July 31.  Those rates also declined from a week earlier.

The conventional 30-year FRM averaged 4.92 compared to 5.02 during the week ended July 24.  The 15-year FRM was also down 10 basis points to 4.25, and government guaranteed FHA/VA mortgages yielded 5.67 percent compared to 5.75 percent a week earlier.

One-year ARMs dropped to 3.16 percent from 3.24 percent.