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 [email protected].

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