Weekly Mortgage Rates Continue to Decline

Interest rates continue to decline, setting new record lows in two weekly surveys. However, interest rates for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) increased. Freddie Mac’s (FRE) weekly survey put the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at 4.78% with a 0.7 origination point for the week ending May 27, down from last week when it averaged 4.84%. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.91%. It’s the lowest average rate in the Freddie Mac survey since December 3, when the average was 4.71%. The Bankrate weekly survey of large banks and thrifts put the average rate for a 30-year FRM at 4.92% with a 0.42 origination point, down from last week’s record-setting average of 4.96%. This week’s average is a new low in the nearly 25-year-old weekly survey. “These low rates will help to elevate home-buyer affordability and soften the effects of the sunset of the home-buyer tax credit,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The credit substantially propelled home sales, as reflected in the strength of the April existing and new home sales, which were up 7.6% and 14.8%, respectively. Freddie said the average rate for a 15-year FRM was 4.21% with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s average of 4.24% and last year’s average of 4.53%. It’s the lowest average rate for the 15-year FRM since Freddie Mac began tracking the product in 1991. Bankrate put the 15-year FRM at 4.34% with a 0.42 point, level from last week. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.97%, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.91%, Freddie Mac said. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.82%. Bankrate put the five-year ARM at 4.26% with a 0.42 point, up from last week’s average of 4.14%. Freddie Mac said the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.95% with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s average of 4%. A year ago, the one-year ARM averaged 4.69%. It’s the lowest average rate for the one-year ARM since May 27, 2004, when it averaged 3.87%. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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