The interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has tied the record low (since 1970) that was set earlier this month, Freddie Mac announced.

For the week ending today, the average rate was 4.78 percent with 0.7 points. Last week the average rate was 4.80 percent and a year earlier 30 year fixed rate mortgages had an average interest rate of 6.06 percent.

Here are some other average rates for this week:

  • 15-year fixed rate mortgage 4.48 percent with 0.7 points (in 2008 it was 5.59 percent)
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage 4.80 with 0.6 points (in 2008 it was 5.73 percent)
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM 4.77 percent with 0.7 points (in 2008 it was 5.29 percent)

The 2008 numbers are for exactly a year ago.

“Rates for fixed-rate mortgages hovered at record lows this week as ARM rates eased further,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, the most popular loan among homebuyers and families seeking to refinance, are more than 1.6 percentage points below the recent peak set at the end of October 2008. For a $200,000 loan, this means a monthly savings of almost $212 in mortgage payments or over $2,500 per year. In aggregate, borrowers who refinanced during the first quarter reduced their mortgage payments by about $2.5 billion over the coming year.

“The housing market may be edging towards a bottom. Existing home sales stayed near its four-month average in March while new home sales were stronger than the market consensus. More importantly, the inventory of unsold new homes fell to the lowest number since January 2002. And, the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index did not show a record year-over-year decline in February for the first time since December 2006. Finally, housing affordability hit record highs in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the National Association of Realtors, which date back to January 1971.”

April 30, 2009