Freddie Mac mortgage rates drop after slight rebound
Fixed-rate mortgages fell this week as the housing market continued to grapple with weak homebuyer demand. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5% for the week ending Feb. 17, down from 5.05% last week when it soared 20 basis points to its highest level in 10 months, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. During the same week last year, the 30-year FRM hovered at 4.93%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell slightly this week to 4.27%, down from 4.29% a week ago. A year ago, the 15-year FRM listed at 4.33%. Freddie Mac also said the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rate now sits at 3.87%, down from 3.92% a week ago; and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM is up to 3.39%, compared to 3.35% last week. "Fixed mortgage rates eased slightly this week and continue to be very affordable," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. "Prior to 2009, interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages had never been at 5 percent since our survey began in April 1971. In both 1981 and 1982, the rates were over three times as high as they are today." He added that the housing market "is struggling to gain traction" after new construction on one-family homes dipped in January. Home builder confidence also failed to improve for the month of February, Nothaft said. Meanwhile, Bankrate.com has the current rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgages listed at 4.96%, and the 15-year fixed rate mortgage hovering at 4.25%. Comparatively, Zillow.com has the 30-year fixed-rate at 4.78%, and the 15-year at 4.09%. Write to Kerri Panchuk.