Mortgage rates once again slipped below 5 percent during the week ended November 5 according to data released today by Freddie Mac.

Results from the weekly Primary Mortgage Market survey peg the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at 4.98 percent, down from an average of 5.03 percent a week earlier.  Fees and points averaged 0.7 both weeks. 

The 15-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent with 0.6 point compared to 4.46 percent also with 0.6 point last week.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) dropped 7 basis points from the previous week's average for an average of 4.35 percent.  Fees and points were unchanged at 0.6 point.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM was at 4.47 percent with 0.5 point.  Last week the average was 4.57 percent with 0.5 point.

"Mortgage rates fell back this week pulling interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages under 5 percent," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Lower mortgage rates should help homeowners lower their monthly payments and feed the ongoing recovery in the housing market." For instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have financed more than 3.5 million refinance loans during the first nine months of 2009. Freddie Mac estimates that borrowers who refinanced their conventional loan during the third quarter reduced their interest rate by a median of 1.1 percentage points, which will save these borrowers an aggregate of $3 billion in mortgage payments over the next 12 months.

"Further, pending sales for existing homes rose for the eighth straight month in September to the strongest pace since December 2006, while spending on private residential construction jumped 3.9 percent and represented the largest gain since July 2003. In the third quarter of this year, residential fixed investment added almost a full percentage point to economic growth."

Fannie Mae also announced lower weekly yields for the week ended October 30.

The conventional 30-year FRM averaged 4.71 percent compared to 4.76 percent the previous week.  The 15-year FRM was at 4.07, down from 4.13 a week earlier.  The one-year ARM carried an average contract interest rate of 2.91 percent, down from 3.0 percent.

Government guaranteed FHA and VA 30-year fixed mortgages were eased slightly from 5.54 percent to 5.52 percent.

All Fannie Mae yields are reported net of servicing fees.