Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows

Freddie Mac has released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing fixed mortgage rates edging slightly lower with the 30-year fixed averaging 3.37 percent, just more than its all-time record low of 3.36 percent, and the average 15-year fixed dipping to a new all-time record low at 2.66 percent.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.37 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Oct. 18, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.39 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.11 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.66 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.70 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.38 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.75 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 percent. 
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.60 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.59 percent. last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.94 percent.

"Mortgage rates remained more or less unchanged this week as home construction builds up steam," says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist. "Construction on single-family homes jumped to an annualized rate of 11 percent in August, the strongest pace since August 2008. Over the first nine months of the year, single-family starts were 23 percent higher than the same period last year. Moreover, homebuilder confidence rose for the sixth consecutive month in October to the highest level since June 2006, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index."

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Borrowers may still pay closing costs, which are not included in the survey.

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