Mortgage Rates Stay Low Helping to Keep Housing Affordability High

December 8, 2011

Average fixed mortgage rates remain largely unchanged and near their record lows helping to keep housing affordability high for those borrowers who are in the market, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 8, down from last week when it averaged 4.00 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.61 percent.

Meanwhile, the 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.27 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.96 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.90 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.60 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.80 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.27 percent. "Thirty-year fixed-rate loans have declined 0.62 percentage points from a year ago, and median sales prices on existing homes are off 4.7 percent in the year ending with October,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “These low rates and home prices have pushed housing affordability to record highs this year."