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Lending

Mortgage rates fall amid lower economic data

Bankrate: Results "tepid enough to cast doubt"

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Mortgage rates fell lower amid weaker-than-expected economic news and housing data, the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey revealed.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.28% for the week ending March 6, rising from 4.37% last week, and drastically up from 3.52% in 2013.

The 15-year, FRM dropped to 3.32%, from last week’s 3.39%, but up from 2.76% for the same period in 2013.

In addition, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.03% this week, marginally down from 3.05% a week ago, but up from 2.63% last year.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM stayed unmoved at 2.52% this week, down from 2.63% in 2013.

“Mortgage rates were down this week as real GDP was revised downwards to 2.4% growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. Fixed residential investment negatively contributed to GDP decreasing 8.7% in the fourth quarter,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.

“The private sector added an estimated 139,000 jobs in February, which was below the market consensus and followed a downward revision of 48,000 jobs in January, according to the ADP Research Institute,” Nothaft said.

Bankrate posted similar findings, with only slight movement this week

The average 30-year, FRM fell to 4.45% from 4.48%, while the 15-year, FRM dropped to 3.46% from 3.50% a week prior.

Meanwhile, the 5/1 ARM slipped to 3.26% from 3.30% last week.

“The mortgage waters have been particularly calm over the last 30 days. The disappointing economic data hasn't been so bad as to raise concerns of a sharp economic slowdown – yet – but have been just tepid enough to cast doubt on the idea of the economy suddenly accelerating,” Bankrate said.

“So we end up with this Goldilocks scenario of economic growth that isn't too hot, but isn't too cold, which has kept bond yields and mortgage rates in check. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds,” Bankrate continued. 

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