Average interest rates on 30-year mortgages declined in two weekly surveys. Freddie Mac’s (FRE) weekly survey put the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at 5.04% with an average 0.7 point for the weekend ending Sept. 17, down 3bps from the week prior when the 5.07% and down from the same week one year ago, when it was 5.78%. Bankrate.com’s survey of major US banks and thrifts put the average 30-year FRM rate at 5.4% with an average 0.34 point, down 1bp from last week, and down from 6.15% one year ago. Freddie Mac said the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate was 4.51% with an average 0.5 point, up from one week ago, when it was 4.51%. Freddie Mac also calculated the average one-year ARM at 4.58% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week’s rate of 4.64%. Bankrate.com said the average rate for a 15-year FRM increased 1bp to 4.75% from last week while the benchmark 5/1 ARM declined 5bps to 4.89%. “Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages eased for the third consecutive week and remained at 3-month lows,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have averaged just above 5% through mid-September, which is roughly a percentage point below last year’s average and suggests that 2009 may reach a record annual low since the survey began in 1971.” Write to Austin Kilgore.

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