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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates retreat back down

Temperature and economy heat back up

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Mortgage rates retreated back down following the release of real GDP estimates for the first quarter.

This comes on the heels of mortgage rates increasing last week after two weeks of decline before that.

According to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.29% for the week ending May 1, falling from 4.33% a week ago, but almost a full percent higher than 3.35% a year earlier.

The 15-year FRM dropped to 3.38%, compared to 3.39% last week and 2.56% in 2013.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 3.05%, up from 3.03% a week ago and significantly up from 2.56% last year.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ticked up to 2.45% this week, slightly up from 2.44% for the same period in 2013.

“Mortgage rates were down slightly following the release of real GDP estimates for the first quarter of the year which rose 0.1% and fell well short of market expectations,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

“Meanwhile, the pending home sales index rose in March ending eight consecutive months of decline and the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index rose 12.9% over the 12-months ending in February 2014,” Nothaft added.

Similarly, Bankrate posted rates modestly falling, with the 30-year, FRM dropping to 4.48% from 4.44% last week.

The 15-year, FRM decreased to 3.51% from 3.54%, while the 5/1 ARM increased to 3.54% from 3.35%.

“Despite the abysmal economic performance in the first quarter of the year brought on by the brutal winter weather, both the temperatures and the broader economy are starting to warm up,” Bankrate said.

“The Federal Open Market Committee gave a nod to a pickup in economic activity and household spending, and maintained the tapering of bond purchases by scaling back an additional $10 billion in monthly purchases. With the Fed avoiding any market-unsettling surprises, the focus now turns to the monthly jobs report. The employment report is the next likely catalyst for movement in bond yields and mortgage rates,” it continued.  

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