Mortgage Rates Down This Week Amid Concerns Over Labor Market

Mortgage Rates Down This Week Amid Concerns Over Labor Market

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | July 10, 2009 8:00 AM ET

(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 5.20 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending July 9, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.32 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.37 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.69 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.77 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.91 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.82 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.88 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.82 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.82 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.94 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.17 percent.

"Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the second week in a row to the lowest level in six weeks amid market concerns over a weakening labor market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The economy lost 467,000 jobs in June, more than the market consensus, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent, the highest since August 1983. Moreover, hourly employee wages increased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent on average in the second quarter of 2009, the smallest gain since records began in 1964.

"The weak employment situation coupled with falling home values is adding to greater defaults on home equity loans and lines of credit. The American Bankers Association reported that the number of home equity loans that were 30-days or more delinquent rose to a record high of 3.52 percent in the first quarter and home equity lines of credit also reached a record of 1.89 percent. For comparison sake, such loans totaled $1.1 trillion outstanding in the first quarter of 2009, representing nearly 10 percent of all home mortgage debt, according to the Federal Reserve Board."

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.

Summary of Survey Results

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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