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Record low mortgage rates boost housing: Freddie Mac

Fixed-mortgage rates hovered near record lows this past week, fueling the ongoing housing recovery with cheaper credit, according to Freddie Mac data.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit near record lows, coming in at 3.4%, down from 3.41% last week and 3.88% last year, the GSE said in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 15-year, FRM reached a new all-time record low at 2.61%, down from 2.64%, while falling from 3.88% last year.

Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.58%, down from 2.63% last week and down from 2.85% a year ago.

Additionally, the 1-year Treasury-index ARM rose to 2.62% this week, compared to 2.63% last week and was also down from 2.74% a year earlier.

"The housing market is getting a boost with mortgage rates hovering at or near record lows. For instance, existing-home sales averaged an annualized pace of 4.94 million over the first three months of this year, the most since the fourth quarter of 2009," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.

He added, "More impressively, new home sales topped 424,000 during the first quarter, which was the strongest since the third quarter of 2008. The sales pickup is helping to support house-price gains. For instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that February marked the thirteenth consecutive month that it has recorded an annual rise in its U.S. house price index, which rose by 7.1 percent in the twelve months through February, the most since May 2006. Even with these gains, this U.S. index is still 13.6 percent below its peak set in April 2007."  

Bankrate data also shows mortgage rates drifting lower.

Bankrate’s 30-year, FRM dropped to 3.57% from 3.61% a week earlier.

In addition, the 15-year, FRM declined to 2.8% last week, while the 5/1 ARM dropped to 2.65% from 2.66%.

cmlynski@housingwire.com

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