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Stable Financial Markets Keep A Lid On Mortgage Rates

April 5, 2002

Long- And Short-Term Rates Ease Back Slightly This Week

McLean, VA ? In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 7.13 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ending April 5, 2002, down from 7.18 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 7.01 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 6.64 percent, with an average 0.7 point, slipping from last week's average of 6.69 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.54 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.99 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week's average of 5.11 percent. This time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 6.23 percent.

(Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.)

"Currently the market is relatively stable while it looks to see if there are any remaining weak spots in the economy, and if so, what those spots might be," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "But, at the moment, there seems to be nothing that would indicate anything that might seriously disrupt the market and cause mortgage rates to rise appreciably.

"Jobless claims reported today were higher than expected, which says that the labor market may not have fully recovered from the earlier economic slowdown. If this were to continue, it could create something of a drag on the economy. However, March employment figures are due out tomorrow and should reflect additional job growth for the year. Although that could put some upward pressure on mortgage rates, Freddie Mac economists expect those rates will not rise much further any time in the near future."
The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot
This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago
30-Yr
15-Yr
1 Yr-ARM
7.13
6.64
4.99
0.7
0.7
0.8
30-Yr
15-Yr
1 Yr-ARM
7.18
6.69
5.11
0.7
0.7
0.8
30-Yr
15-Yr
1 Yr-ARM
7.01

6.54

6.23
0.9
1.0
1.0

Source: Freddie Mac



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