Mortgage Rates Fall With Latest Economic and Housing Reports

April 28, 2011

Mortgage rates fell for the second consecutive week, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.78 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 28, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.80 percent, the survey showed. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.06 percent.

"Mortgage rates followed Treasury bond yields lower this week amid weak local economic data reports on business conditions and house prices,” according to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

Regional Federal Reserve Banks reported that business and manufacturing activities declined in Philadelphia, Dallas and Richmond in April. In addition, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index recorded year-over-year declines through February in 19 of the 20 markets.

“Declining home prices and a high level of foreclosures continue to affect housing tenure decisions,” Nothaft said.

Between the third quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2011, the housing stock experienced a decline of nearly 400,000 homeowners on net, according to the Census Bureau. However, the National Association of Realtors reported that during the same period there were almost 700,000 first-time homebuyers, which suggests gross losses may have been closer to 1.1 million homeowners over the October-through-March timeframe, according to Nothaft.

Meanwhile, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.02 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.39 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.51 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.61 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.00 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.15 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.16 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.25 percent.

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