Mortgage rates eased for the second consecutive week, helping alleviate concerns of a housing slowdown with June home sales coming in strong, Freddie Mac said.
Rates moved down this week, with the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage coming in at 4.31%, down from 4.37% last week, but up from 3.49% last year, Freddie Mac reported in its Primary Market Survey.
The 15-year, FRM decreased to 3.39%, down from 3.41% and a steep rebound from 2.8% last year. Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-index adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.16%, down from 3.17% last week and an increase from 2.74% a year earlier. Additionally, the 1-year Treasury-index ARM was 2.65%, down from a week earlier and also down from 2.71% a year ago.
"Thus far, existing home sales for June were the second highest since November 2009 and new home sales were the strongest since May 2008," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.
He added, "In addition, the low inventories of homes for purchase are putting upward pressure on house prices. For instance, the FHFA purchase-only house price index increased for the 16th consecutive month in May and was 7.3% above the May 2012 figure; May’s index level was the highest since September 2008."
Bankrate (RATE) data also show mortgage rates declining. Bankrate’s 30-year FRM dropped to 4.54% from 4.56% a week earlier. In addition, the 15-year, FRM decreased to 3.61%, down from 3.65%. The 5/1 ARM also dropped to 3.54% from 3.56%, according to Bankrate data.