Long-term Mortgage Rates May Finally Be Drifting Upward

March 4, 2005

Rising Rates Should Temper House Price Appreciation

McLean, VA – Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.79 percent, with an average 0.7 points, for the week ending March 3, 2005, up from last week when it averaged 5.69 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.59 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.33 percent, with an average 0.6 points, up from last week when it averaged 5.22 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.88 percent.

Five-Year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.17 percent this week, with an average 0.7 points, up from 5.05 last week. There is no annual historical information for last year since Freddie Mac only began tracking this mortgage rate at the start of this year.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 4.14 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 4.16 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.47 percent.

"Concern that long-term interest rates are too low and comments from Fed officials this week helped push mortgage rates higher this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "We’ve been expecting this for some time, so the rise in rates for the third consecutive week doesn’t really come as a surprise to the market.

"House values rose nationally at a rate of over 10 percent in 2004, the strongest annual growth since 1979. However, as mortgage rates begin to trend upward we expect the rate of house price appreciation to begin to slow to perhaps seven or eight percent nationally this year."

The National Mortgage Rate Snapshop
This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago
30-Yr 15-Yr 5-Yr
ARM
1-Yr ARM
5.79 5.33 5.17 4.14
0.7 0.6 0.7 0.8
30-Yr 15-Yr 5-Yr
ARM
1-Yr ARM
5.69 5.22 5.05 4.16
0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8
30-Yr 15-Yr 5-Yr
ARM
1-Yr ARM
5.59 4.88 --- 3.47
0.7 0.7 ---

0.6

Source: Fredie Mac