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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady According To Freddie Mac's Weekly Survey

January 30, 2009

Despite the gloomy economic news, mortgage rates remained steady according to Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.10 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 29, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.12 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.68 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.80 percent with an average 0.7 point, unchanged last week when it averaged 4.80 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.17 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.27 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.24 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.32 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.90 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.92 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.05 percent.

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

"Mortgage rates held steady this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The index of leading indicators rose 0.3 percent in December, the first increase in 6 months, fueled by an expansion in the money supply. However, the Federal Reserve acknowledged in its January 28th policy committee statement that since December the economy has weakened further.

"Both the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index, which registered an 18 percent annual decline through November, and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) sales data, down 15 percent in December from a year ago, indicate sharply lower house prices across many U.S. metropolitan areas. At the same time, interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages reached a 50-year low toward the end of December. These two factors contributed to housing affordability reaching its highest level since 1973, as measured by the NAR's monthly affordability index and help to explain the 7.0 percent increase in existing home sales in December."

Source: Freddie Mac

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