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Little Change Seen In Long-term Mortgage Rates This Week

January 31, 2003

One-Year ARM Sets a New Record Low

McLean, VA — In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.90 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending January 31, 2003, almost unchanged from 5.91 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 7.02 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.28 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week's average of 5.31 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.51 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.89 percent this week,, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week's average of 3.93 percent. At the same time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 5.12 percent. This is, once again, the lowest the 1-year ARM has been since Freddie Mac began tracking it in 1984.

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

"Mortgage rates are currently in a kind of limbo with no impetus to drive the figures either up or down," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "Risks seem to be pretty evenly balanced at this juncture in time. The upside risk would be rapid economic growth and inflation while the downside might be extended hostilities in the Mideast, or a wider scope of weakness in the economy.

"Meanwhile, both new and existing home sales for 2002 totaled a record 6.5 million, due in large part to the lowest mortgage rates in more than a generation. And all indications are that mortgage rates will continue to be very affordable in the coming year.

The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot
This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
ARM
5.90 5.28 3.89
0.6 0.6 0.7
5.915.313.930.60.60.7
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
ARM
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
ARM
7.02 6.51 5.12
0.7 0.7 0.7

Source: Freddie Mac



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