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Fixed-Rate Mortgages Hold Steady, Remain Near Record Lows

September 22, 2011

Fixed-rate mortgages changed little amid sluggish economic, mixed housing data and ongoing concerns over the European debt markets, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed remained unchanged at 4.09 percent, while the 15-year fixed dropped a single basis point to 3.29 percent, marking a new record low. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.09 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Sept. 22, matching last week when it also averaged 4.09 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.37 percent.

Meanwhile, the 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.29 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.30 percent. This marks a new record low. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.82 percent.

"A sluggish economy and investor concerns over the European debt markets left mortgage rates largely unchanged this week,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “Manufacturing activity in both the New York and Philadelphia regions contracted in September. Moreover, the Federal Reserve Board reported that households lost nearly $150 billion in net worth in the second quarter, representing the first quarterly decline in a year.”

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.02 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.54 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.82 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.46 percent.

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