Long-Term Rates Surpass Short-Term Rates
Mortgage rates eased in the week ending April 23, according to Freddie Mac's (FRE) Primary Mortgage Market Survey released today. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averages are 4.80%, down from last week's 4.82% average, and well below the 6.03% average from this time last year. This week's 15-year fixed-rate mortgage remains unchanged from last week, which hit an all-time low of 4.48% when compared to 4.54% two weeks ago. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.62%. "Although long-term mortgage rates eased slightly this week, ARM rates remain elevated relative to those fixed-rate mortgages," says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "For instance, interest rates for 1-year ARMs exceeded those for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages over the last two weeks; this is the first time this has happened since Freddie Mac began collecting data for ARMs in January 1984." The average for One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs sat at 4.82% this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.91%. Five-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.85%, also down from last week's average of 4.88%. A separate rates survey conducted by Bankrate.com actually found mortgage rates climbed this week -- albeit just slightly. According to Bankrate, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate rose 5 basis points to 5.23%, while the benchmark 15-year fixed-rate rose 4 basis points to 4.76%. The survey reported, similar to Freddie Mac's findings, its 5-year ARM rate reading of 5.11% surpassed its 30-year rate. Nothaft says the housing market is showing further signs of possible improvement. House prices rose for the second consecutive month in February, the first back-to-back increase since April 2007, according to data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Among the nine Census divisions, six experienced positive gains in February. Write to Kelly Curran at firstname.lastname@example.org.