No Significant Changes In Mortgage Rates This Week

December 20, 2002

One-Year ARM Falls To Lowest Level Since 1984

McLean, VA – In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.03 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending December 20, 2002, almost unchanged from 6.04 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 7.17 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.42 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down slightly from last week's average of 5.46 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.65 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.07 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week's average of 4.18 percent. At the same time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 5.27 percent. The 1-year ARM this week fell to the lowest level recorded since Freddie Mac started 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.)

"It was no great surprise that housing starts rose for the second time in three months since mortgage rates in November reached levels not seen since the mid-1960s," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "Since mortgage rates are not expected to increase significantly, we remain confident that the housing industry will continue to be alive and active well into 2003.

"As a matter of fact, over the last few days financial markets have been experiencing some nervousness about war in the Middle East and this may cause some downward pressure on interest rates, which could possibly lower mortgage rates a little more in the coming weeks."

The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot
This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago
30-Yr 15-Yr 1 Yr-ARM
6.03 5.42 4.07
0.6 0.6 0.6
30-Yr 15-Yr 1 Yr-ARM
6.04 5.46 4.18
0.5 0.5 0.6
30-Yr 15-Yr 1 Yr-ARM
7.17 6.65 5.27
0.7 0.7 0.8


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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