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Mortgage Rates Dip Below 5% Again, Says Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates Dip Below 5% Again, Says Freddie Mac

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | February 25, 2011 8:00 AM ET



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Frank Nothaft

According to Freddie Mac's (OTC: FMCC) latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), long-term fixed rates dipped below 5% this week.

Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft stated, "Fixed mortgage rates eased again this holiday week amid mixed inflation data reports. Although the core consumer price index for January rose slightly above the market consensus, house prices fell 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller National Index. In addition, the level of the index was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2002."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.95 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending February 24, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 5.0 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.05 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 4.22 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.27 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.8 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.87 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.16 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.40 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.39 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.15 percent.

Nothaft further commented, "Low mortgage rates and home prices are sustaining affordability in the housing market. Existing home sales rose for the third consecutive month in January and were at the strongest pace in eight months, the National Association of Realtors reported; only the Northeast region experienced a slowdown in sales."

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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, MS, PR, VI
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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