Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates hit monthly low

Disappointing job numbers push rates down

Mortgage rates took a step back due to signs of a weakening economic recovery, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.41% for the week ending Jan. 16, down from 4.51% a week ago, but significantly up from 3.38% a year earlier.

Additionally, the 15-year, FRM also scaled back and hit 3.45%, a drop from last week’s 3.56%, but up from 2.66% in the same period in 2013.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.10% this week, down from 3.15% a week ago, but up from 2.67% a year prior.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM came in at 2.56% this week, staying frozen from last week.  

"The economy added 74,000 jobs in December, less than the market consensus forecast. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in December, which was nearly half of November’s 0.4 percent increase,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac.

"Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% which was the lowest since October 2008," Nothaft added.

Furthermore, Bankrate mortgage rates fell to one-month lows, pulling back for the second consecutive week in a row.

The average 30-year, FRM dropped to 4.57% from 4.64%, while the 15-year, FRM dipped to 3.62% from 3.69% a week prior.

In addition, the 5/1 ARM edged down to 3.40% from 3.46% last week.

"The disappointing December jobs report brought yields on 10-year Treasury notes down from the 3 percent threshold where they started the year. As a result, mortgage rates fell to the lowest levels since mid-December," Bankrate said. 

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