Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mortgage Rates End the Year Near Record Lows

Home buyer affordability continues to be pushed higher due to mortgage rates remaining at record lows, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

"Mortgage rates ended the year hovering near historic lows in an already affordable housing market,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. With affordability so high, Nothaft notes “it's not surprising then that over 5 percent of households in December plan to purchase a home over the next six months, the highest share since May,” according to The Conference Board.

For the ninth consecutive week, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the most popular choice among home buyers, have been at or below 4 percent. In fact, only twice this year did 30-year rates average above 5 percent, Freddie Mac reports.

Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending Dec. 29.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged3.95 percent, with an average 0.7 point, inching up from last week’s all-time record--a 3.91 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.86 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.24 percent, with an average 0.8 point, also up slightly compared to last week’s record 3.21 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 4.20 percent.
5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.88 percent, with an average 0.6 point, increasing from last week’s 2.85 percent average. Last year at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.77 percent.
1-year ARMs: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.6 point, slightly up from last week’s 2.77 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.26 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac

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