March 30th, 2012 12:35 PM by Eileen Denhard
Freddie Mac Reports 30-YearFixed-Rate Teetered Back Below 4%
The 30-year fixed-ratemortgage positioned itself back below 4 percent this week as economicindicators point to a weaker housing market and economy, according to FreddieMac’s PrimaryMortgage Market Survey.
“TheS&P/Case Shiller 20-City Composite home price index slid in January to itslowest reading since December 2002,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chiefeconomist for Freddie Mac. “In addition, new home sales declined 0.5percent in February, below the market consensus of an increase, and pendingexisting home sales also declined for the month.”
Last week, the 30-yearfixed-rate averaged 4.08 percent, above 4 percent for the first time sinceOctober 2011. This week ending March 29, the 30-year averaged 3.99 percent (0.7point), barely below the 4 percent mark. The 30-year is still below lastyear’s average at this time, when it was 4.86 percent.
The 15-year fixed ratemortgage slipped to 3.23 percent (0.8 point). Last week, it averaged 3.30percent and 4.09 percent a year ago at this time.
The 5-year ARM lowered to 2.90 percent (0.8 point) this week, comparedto last week’s average of 2.96 percent, and still lower than lastyear’s 3.70 percent.
The 1-year ARM also dipped down, averaging at 2.78 percent (0.6 point ).Last week, it averaged 2.84 percent, and last at this time it was 3.26 percent.
Bankrate also reported a drop in rates, with the 30-yearfixed-rate down to 4.23 percent compared to 4.29 percent last week. Bankrateconducts a national weekly mortgage survey using data provided by the top 10banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.
The average 15-yearfixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.44 percent and averaged 3.48 percent lastweek. The 5-year ARM also moved lower, averaging at3.14 percent. Last week, it averaged 3.24 percent.
According to a releasefrom Bankrate, renewed concerns about the effect of higher gasoline prices onthe U.S. economy as well asslower growth in Chinacontributed to the lower rates this week.
The consumer financecompany also noted that the last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent wasNov. 2008, which means that a $200,000 loan with a 30-year fixed rate at 6.33percent would have a monthly payment of $1,241.86, compared to a $981.54 monthpayment with the average rate of 4.23 percent.
Source – DS News