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Mortgage rates stay flat amid contained inflation

Homebuyer affordability remains high as mortgage rates go largely unchanged this week.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropped slightly from last week to 3.38% for the week ending Jan. 17. This rate is down significantly when compared to the 3.88% level recorded a year earlier, Freddie Mac said in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

"Mortgage rates were flat to down a little this week amid reports that inflation remains contained," noted Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.

He added, "The overall producer price index rose 0.1% between November and December, below the market consensus forecast, and the consumer price index was unchanged. For the year as a whole, consumer prices rose just 1.7% in 2012, almost half that of 2011's increase of 3.0%."

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage remained completely unchanged from last week at 2.66%.

Additionally, the 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid, adjustable-rate mortgage came in at 2.67% this week, the same as last week and lower than the 2.82% rate recorded this time last year.

The 1-year, Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.57%, down slightly from 2.60% last week and even lower than the 2.74% average recorded a year earlier.

Click on the graph to view the week’s primary mortgage market survey results.

Bankrate data also shows mortgage rates reaching “high levels” for the beginning of the year, despite edging down this past week.

The Bankrate 30-year, FRM came in at 3.60%, down from 3.67% a week earlier. The 15-year, FRM also fell from 2.92% last week to 2.89% and the 5/1 ARM dropped to 2.74% from 2.77% last week.

mhopkins@housingwire.com

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