Mortgage interest rates continue falling
Mortgage interest have decreased for two months now and last week's decline is attributed to weaker-than-expected jobs growth, according to Freddie Mac. The government-sponsored enterprise said its primary mortgage market survey showed the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.49% for the week ending Thursday from 4.56% a week earlier. The average rate for a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.68% from 3.75% the prior week, according to the Freddie Mac survey. "The housing market continues to be fragile across the nation," Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said. "Long-term Treasury yields moved lower following a weak jobs report and mortgage rates followed suit." Nothaft said nonfarm payroll data from last week showed the economy added the fewest jobs in eight months in May, as factories cut payrolls for the first time since late 2010. He also attributed lower rates to recent data from the Federal Reserve that showed home prices and sales remain muted. Mortgage interest rates are considerably lower than the year ago, when the 30-year averaged 4.72% and the average 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.17%. In March, Nothaft said he expects rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to remain below 5% throughout 2011, as the economic recovery accelerates. Bankrate.com reported its monthly survey showed interest rates for a traditional mortgage fell to a seven-month low of 4.65% last week down from 4.69% the prior week and 4.88% a year earlier. The firm said rates for a 15-year, fixed mortgage declined to 3.79% from 3.88%. Last fall, interest rates for the traditional 30-year mortgage dipped to as low as 4.07%, according to real estate research firm Zillow. Freddie Mac reported 30-year, fixed rates hit 4.17% in early November. Freddie Mac said the average five-year, adjustable-rate mortgage decreased to 3.28% this week from 3.41% a week earlier and is down from 3.92% a year ago. The average rate for a one-year, ARM fell to 2.95% from 3.13% a week ago. The rate is down from 3.91% at this time last year. Write to Jason Philyaw.