Bankrate: Long-term mortgage interest rates at 'ultra-low levels'
Mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this past week, with the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage remaining 4.5% for a second week. Even still, disappointing economic news kept rates well below 5% and significantly lower than the 6% mark that defined more stable economic times. The U.S. has not seen mortgage rates higher than 6% since late 2008. Freddie Mac said the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.69% this past week from 3.67% a week earlier, but down from 4.13% a year earlier. In addition, the five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.25%, down from 3.27% a week earlier and the 5-year ARM averaged 3.84%. The one-year, Treasury-indexed ARM hit 2.99% this past week, up from 2.97% a week earlier. Bankrate said the traditional 30-year mortgage fell to 4.66% from 4.71% the prior week. Meanwhile, the 15-year, fixed-rate home loan slipped to 3.83% from 3.86%, and the Jumbo 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 5.23%. Adjustable-rate mortgages were also mixed with the average five-year ARM falling to 3.36% and the seven-year ARM growing to 3.65%. "Disappointing economic news, such as continued weak housing numbers, and ongoing nervousness about Greece led government bond yields and mortgage rates lower," Bankrate said. "Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government debt. Although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed that bond purchases known as QE2 will end as scheduled this month, long-term interest rates remain at ultra-low levels due to the economic softness and overseas debt concerns." Write to: Kerri Panchuk.