Real Estate News

Bond Yields Pull Long-Term Mortgage Rates Down To Near Record Lows This Week

(News Source: Freddie Mac)

(MCLEAN, VA) -- Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 19, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.03 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.87 percent. The 30-year FRM has not been lower since the week ending January 15, 2009, when it hit an all-time low of 4.96 percent in Freddie Mac's weekly survey survey.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.61 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.64 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.27 percent. The 15-year FRM has not been lower since the week ending June 13, 2003, when it averaged 4.60 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.98 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.99 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.56 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.91 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.80 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.15 percent.

"Long-term mortgages followed bond yields lower for the second week as reports of slower industrial production suggested that business spending might ease this year," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist". Output at factories declined for the fourth consecutive month by 1.4 percent in February driven by declines in computers and machinery and experienced the largest 12-month drop since June 1975. In addition, factory capacity utilization slumped to 70.9 percent, matching the lowest rate since records began in January 1967.

"Following the March 18th Federal Reserve monetary policy statement, which announced further spending initiatives on financial assets, long-term bond yields plummeted. Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds fell by about a half percentage point after the announcement, marking the largest one-day decline since October 20, 1987."

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.


Freddie Mac defines its regions as follows:

Northeast: NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT
Southeast: NC, SC, TN, KY, GA, AL, FL, PR, VI, MS
North Central: OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD
Southwest: TX, LA, NM, OK, AR, MO, KS, CO, NE, WY
West: CA, AZ, NV, OR, WA, UT, ID, MT, HI, AK, GU

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