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Interest Rates Down in 4th Strait Week
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Today Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.78 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 18, 2008, down from last week when it averaged 5.93 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.34 percent. The last time the 30-year FRM was lower was the week ending February 14, 2008, when it averaged 5.72 percent.
The 15-year FRM this week averaged 5.35 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.54 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.98 percent. The last time the 15-year FRM was lower was the week ending March 27, 2008, when it averaged 5.34 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.67 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.87 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.21 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.03 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.21 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.65 percent.
(Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.)
"Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the 5th consecutive week, amounting to a total decline of about 0.75 percentage points," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "As a result, mortgage applications surged nearly 58 percent since August 15th, largely led by a 122 percent gain in applications for refinancing, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
"The MBA also reports that fixed-rate mortgages are currently the predominant choice among homebuyers and families looking to refinance. Over the first two weeks of September, 95 percent of new applications were for fixed-rate mortgages. Since the end of 2007, the number of ARM applications fell by almost 50 percent."