European debt fears push mortgage rates to record lows
Fears over the European debt market pushed fixed mortgage rates to record lows this past week, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Market Mortgage Survey. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a new bottom of 4.09%, down from 4.12% last week and 4.37% from a year ago. Meanwhile, the 15-year, FRM hit a record low of 3.3%, down from 3.33% last week and 3.82% last year. The 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.99% this week, up from last week's average of 2.96%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM hit 3.55%. In addition, the one-year ARM fell to 2.81% from 2.84% last week and 3.40% a year ago. “Continued investor concerns over the state of the European debt markets kept U.S. Treasury bond yields low and allowed mortgage rates to ease once more this week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "In comparison, the average interest rate of mortgage outstanding in the second quarter was 5.28%. By refinancing into today’s 30-year fixed mortgage, homeowners could shave almost $1,715 a year in interest payments on a $200,000 loan." Bankrate also reported falling mortgage rates this past week. Based on the firm's analysis, the 30-year, FRM fell to 4.32% from 4.35% a week ago, while the 15-year, FRM hit 3.44%, down from 3.48%. The 5/1 ARM fell to 3.07% from 3.10%. Write to Kerri Panchuk.