Freddie Mac: Mortgage Interest Rates Edge Upward

According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are up this weekFreddie Mac says fixed mortgage interest rates edged lower this week after last week’s slight upswing.

After a slight increase last week, fixed rate mortgage (FRM) mortgage interest rates edged lower for the week ending March 1, 2012. They remain near their 60-year lows, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).

Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates saw the biggest change week-over-week.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, believes the combination of low home values and mortgage interest rates will further stimulate the housing market:

“Fixed mortgage rates bottomed out in January and February of this year which is helping spur the housing market. For instance, pending existing home sales rose in January to its strongest pace since April 2010 and sales figures for December saw upward revisions,” Nothaft said in a press release Thursday.

“In addition,” Nothaft wrote, “the Federal Reserve noted in its February 29th regional economic review (or Beige Book) that residential real estate activity increased modestly in most of its Districts over the course of January and early February, with several reports of increased home sales.”

Interest rates for the week are as follows:

  • Thirty-year FRMs averaged 3.90 percent, down from last week when they averaged 3.95 percent. At the same time last year, 30-year FRM mortgage interest rates averaged 4.87 percent.
  • The mortgage interest rates for a 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent, down slightly from last week’s average of 3.19 percent. One year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.
  • Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rates saw a slight increase, up to 2.83 percent from last week’s average of 2.80 percent. Last year at the same time, a five-year ARM averaged 3.72 percent.
  • One-year treasury-indexed ARM mortgage interest rates averaged 2.72 percent this week, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.23 percent.

Despite fixed mortgage interest rates hovering near their 60-year lows, consumers are wary of the vulnerable housing market. Until would-be homebuyers feel the market has stabilized, it’s unlikely we’ll see a massive upswing in home sales – no matter how low the mortgage interest rates.


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