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Long-term Mortgage Rates Plunge, Arm Rates Continue To Set Record Low

March 12, 2004

McLean, VA ? In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.41 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending March 11, 2004, down sharply from last week when it averaged 5.59 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.61 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 4.69 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down nearly 20 basis points from last week's average of 4.88 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.93 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.41 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from 3.47 percent last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.68 percent. This is 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.)

"As we had predicted earlier in the month, interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edged closer to last year's record low figures," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "For the year as a whole, we expect long-term rates may be even lower annually than they were in 2003.

"Families looking to lower their monthly payments even further might consider adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). We predict ARMs will make up a much larger share of originations this year, perhaps the highest since about 1995." The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago

30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr ARM


0.6 0.7 0.6
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr ARM


0.7 0.7 0.7


Source: Freddie Mac

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30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr ARM
5.61 4.93 3.68
0.6 0.5 0.6