Low Inflation Translates Into Low Mortgage Rates

March 26, 2004

One-Year ARM Slips For The Seventh Week

McLean, VA – In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.40 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ending March 25, 2004, up slightly from last week when it averaged 5.38 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.91 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 4.70 percent, with an average 0.7 point, almost unchanged from last week when it averaged 4.69 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.21 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.36 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from 3.39 percent last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.84 percent. This is, again, the lowest the one-year ARM has been since Freddie Mac began tracking those figures in January 1984.

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

"Low mortgage rates continue to fuel the housing market, making homeownership more attainable to a broader segment of families," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "As evidence of this, we have seen mortgage applications rise for the last two months and home sales have picked up speed. And with the weather getting better, we should see housing sales strengthen even more in the near term.

"As long as general inflation remains in check, we expect mortgage rates will stay in their current range, and that will leave open the window of opportunity for refinancers and potential home buyers." The National Mortgage Rate Snapshop This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago 30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr ARM 5.40

4.70 3.36 0.7 0.7 0.6 30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr ARM 5.38

4.69 3.39 0.7 0.7 0.6 30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr ARM 5.91 5.21 3.84 0.6

0.6 0.6

Source: Freddie Mac


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

SoftPro, based in Raleigh, NC, offers a mature suite of products, designed specifically for the closing and title industry. Our mission is to serve our client base, with best-in-class products and services. Our products are modular so we don't force you to buy anything you don't need. You can always add on as your business grows. Unlike other software companies, we view the sale as the beginning of the relationship rather than the end. North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.