QE2 pushes Freddie Mac mortgage rates to record lows
Mortgage rates hit new lows again for the week ending Nov. 11, as the Federal Reserve plans a second round of quantitative easing measures, according to the Freddie Mac weekly survey. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17% with a 0.8 point, down 7 basis points from the previous week to a new low. It is down from 4.91% a year ago. The 15-year FRM also set another record low at 3.57% with a 0.8 point, down 6 bps from the previous week. A year ago, it averaged 4.36%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.25% with a 0.7 point, down 14 bps from last week. A year ago, it averaged 4.29%. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.26% with an average 0.7 point, the only product that went unchanged from the previous week, but a year ago, it averaged 4.46%. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said the Fed's announcement of a plan to purchase up to $600 billion in government-backed securities allowed mortgage rates to fall to record levels. "Despite historically low mortgage rates, however, the housing recovery continues to be slow, owing in part to household job uncertainty and tight credit conditions," Nothaft said. However, a separate survey from Bankrate.com suggested QE2 may have actually pushed rates higher as the market waits for more details from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The 30-year FRM climbed 4 bps to 4.46%. The 15-year FRM climbed 3 bps to 3.84%. The 5/1 ARM climbed 5 bps to 3.62%, and the 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage rose 4 bps to 5.08%. Write to Jon Prior.