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Mortgage Rates Dip To New Record Lows Again This Week

February 21, 2003

Housing Remains A Star In Lackluster Economy

McLean, VA - In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.84 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending February 21, 2003, down slightly from 5.86 percent last week, but setting yet another record low. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.81 percent.

The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.21 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week's average of 5.26 percent, also the lowest ever recorded since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.28 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.81 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.89 percent last week. This was the lowest the 1-year ARM has been since Freddie Mac began monitoring it in 1984. At the same time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.96 percent.

(Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.)

"Despite forecasts to the contrary, January housing starts marked a 16-year high according to the Commerce Department," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "Current record breaking low mortgage rates are keeping demand for housing strong, even as the overall economy stumbles sluggishly into the first part of the new year.

"Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage application levels are nearly unchanged from the previous week, indicating that housing will continue to prop up the economy for a while longer."

The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot
This Week One Week Ago One Year Ago
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
5.84 5.21 3.81
0.6 0.6 0.7
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
30-Yr 15-Yr 1-Yr
6.81 6.28 4.96
0.7 0.7 0.7

Source: Freddie Mae

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