Mortgage Rates Remain Low, Increasing Affordability

McLEAN, VA — Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.04 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 24, 2009, unchanged from last week when it averaged 5.04 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.09 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.46 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.47 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.77 percent. This is the lowest the 15-year FRM has been since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.51 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.02 percent.

The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.52 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.03 percent.

“Mortgage rates held relatively steady at three-month lows this week,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Correspondingly, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications jumped 12.8 percent over the week of September 18th to the strongest pace since late May, boosted by refinancing activity.”

“In its September 23rd policy statement, the Federal Reserve (Fed) indicated that it plans to keep its benchmark interest rate exceptionally low for an extended period. This will likely benefit consumers who opt for ARMs, because they are typically tied to shorter-term interest rates. The Fed also noted that activity in the economy and housing market has picked up and financial markets have improved.”

Published: September 25, 2009