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Lending

Weak housing data pushes rates lower

Nation experiences fourth consecutive week of declines

spiral stair

Mortgage rates declined as weaker housing data hit the housing market this past week.

The latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey revealed the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.32% for the week ending Jan. 30, down from 4.39% but significantly up from 3.53% a year prior.

In addition, the 15-year, FRM hit 3.40%, falling from 3.44% a week ago, but up from 2.81% last year.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage came in at 3.12% this week, a drop from 3.15% last week, but an increase compared to 2.70% in 2013.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.55%, a slight increase from 2.54%, but down compared to 2.59%.

"Mortgage rates eased somewhat as new home sales fell 7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted pace of 414,000 units, below the consensus," noted Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.

"The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index declined 0.1 percent for the month of November, the first decrease since November 2012," he added.

Meanwhile, the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued its adjustable rate mortgage index, which posted the ARM index rate on previously occupied homes at 4.25% from December 2013, a slight increase from 4.21% in November.

The FHFA interest rate survey found the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, FRM of $417,000 or less hit 4.54% in December, up 6 basis points, while the average loan amount for all loans was $277,600 in December, up $12,700 from $264,900 in November.

Bankrate followed suite and recorded the fourth consecutive week of declines.

"Some uneven economic data, particularly disappointments in the December jobs report and durable good orders, along with a bout of stock market volatility, have brought long-term bond yields and mortgage rates lower," Bankrate said.

The 30-year, FRM fell to 4.50% from 4.56% last week, as the 15-year, FRM dropped to 3.56% from 3.61% a week prior.

The 5/1 ARM also declined and hit 3.37%, down from 3.42% last week. 

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