Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended January 22 on Thursday morning.  For the first time since the week ended October 30, rates were on the increase.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) carried an average rate of 5.12 percent with 0.7 point during the week compared to 4.96 percent also with 0.7 point during the week ended January 15.

The 15-year FRM averaged 4.80 percent up 15 basis points from the previous week.  Fees and points were unchanged at 0.7.

The rate for five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) did decline albeit only slightly, averaging 5.24 percent with 0.6 point for the week compared to 5.25 percent with 0.6 point a week earlier.  This is the lowest level for the 5-year hybrid since and September 8, 2005 when it also averaged 5.24 percent and consequently the lowest level since Freddie Mac began to track this product at the first of that year.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM increased slightly, from 4.89 percent with 0.5 point to 4.92 percent with 0.7 point.

According to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, "Fixed-rate mortgages followed bond yields and edged up this holiday week.  However, over the first three weeks of 2009, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 0.25 percentage points below its monthly average for December 2008.  As a result, the number of mortgage applications for refinancing was roughly about 86 percent of all conventional loans over the same time period.

"New housing construction continues to thin due to foreclosures and an abundance of unsold homes.  Housing starts for 1-family homes fell 13.5 percent in December 2008 to an annualized pace just under 400,000 houses, the slowest pace since the data were collected in January 1959.  In addition, homebuilder confidence fell to a record low in January since history began in January 1985."

Earlier this week Fannie Mae released its report on yields for the week ended January 16.  Yield data does not include servicing fees.

A 30-year FRM averaged 4.210 for the week, up slightly from 4.190 a week earlier.  Conventional 15-year FRMs had an average yield of 3.970, down from 4.010 during the week ended January 19.

The yield on government guaranteed FHA and VA loans (30-year FRMs) rose from 4.960 to 5.210.

One-year adjustable rate mortgages with 2/6 percent caps and a 2.25 percent net margin were lower; 4.230 percent compared to 4.540 the week before.