Based on Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), the average U.S. fixed mortgage rates is down slightly and hovering just above their record lows as markets waited for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88 percent and has been below 4 percent all but one week in 2012. The 15-year fixed, a popular refinancing choice, averaged 3.12 percent.
Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac said, "Fixed mortgage rates held near record lows this week as the markets waited for the Federal Reserve's (Fed) April 25th monetary policy announcement following two days of deliberations. The Fed stated that it expects economic growth to remain moderate and then pick up gradually. In addition, it noted that labor market conditions have improved in recent months and it anticipates the unemployment rate will decline gradually."
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 26, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.78 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.12 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.97 percent.
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.85 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.51 percent.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.74 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.15 percent.
Nothaft further commented, "The housing market has also shown some improvement as well. The Federal Housing Finance Agency's purchase-only house price index rose at a monthly rate of 0.3 percent in February. Moreover, 12 out of 20 metropolitan areas experienced increases over the month, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city indexes, led by a 2.1 percent gain in Phoenix. New home sales in March were stronger than the consensus market forecast and February's sales were revised upwards to the strongest pace in almost two years. However, the Fed's statement warned that despite some signs of improvement, the housing sector still remains depressed."