Friday, April 13, 2012

Freddie Mac Reports 15-Year Rate Fell to New Low

Following a disappointing employment report, fixed rate averages fell for the third week in a row, with the 15-year fixed-rate hitting a new low, while the 30-year rate continues to fall further beneath 4 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.88 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending April 12, down from last week when it stood at 3.98 percent and a decline from last year at this time when the 30-year average was 4.91 percent.

The 15-year rate dropped to 3.11 percent (0.7 point), hitting a record low from when it averaged 3.13 percent on March 8, 2012. Last week, the 15-year’s average was 3.21 percent and 4.13 percent a year ago during this time.

The 5-year ARM was also down, averaging 2.85 percent (0.7 point) this week, down from the week before when it averaged 2.86 percent and down a year ago when it was 3.78 percent.

The 1-year ARM rose slightly to 2.80 percent (0.6 point), up from 2.78 percent last week. The 1-year ARM averaged 3.25 percent a year ago at this time.

“Fixed mortgage rates eased for the third consecutive week following long-term Treasury bond yields lower after a weaker than expected employment report for March. Although the unemployment rate fell to the lowest reading since January 2009, the overall economy added just 120,000 new jobs in March, nearly half that of the market consensus forecast,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

Nothaft also noted reports from the recent April 11th Beige Book, which revealed hiring was steady, or showed a modest increase across many of its districts.

Bankrate also reported declines this week, with the 30-year fixed averaging 4.11 percent, down from 4.25 percent last week. The 15-year fixed ended at 3.32, a decline from last week’s 3.42 percent. The 5-year ARM fell to 3.03 percent compared to last week’s 3.15 percent.

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is based on data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.

By: Esther Cho

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