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Low Mortgage Rates Helping to Stabilize Housing Market

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | August 28, 2009 9:30 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 5.14 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending August 27, 2009, up from last week when it averaged 5.12 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.40 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.58 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.56 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.93 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.67 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.57 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.03 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.69 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week when it averaged 4.69 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.33 percent.

"Long-term mortgage rates were barely changed this week, remaining historically low, which is helping to sustain a high level of affordability in the home-purchase market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist." Low rates contributed to existing home sales rising for the fourth consecutive month to an annual pace of 5.24 million in July, the most since August 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

"Similarly, new home sales rose for the fourth month in a row to 0.4 million, the strongest pace since September 2008, the Commerce Department reported. The sales gain helped to reduce the number of new unsold houses on the market to the lowest amount since March 1993. In addition, house prices in June rose nationally for the second consecutive month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's purchase-only house price index."

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.


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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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