Mortgage Rates Essentially Unchanged
Mortgage rates crept upward ever so slightly in the past week, according to a report from Freddie Mac, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 6.14 percent with an average of 0.4 point for the week ending December 20, 2007 -- up only barely from one week earlier, when it averaged 6.11 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.13 percent. Other mortgage rates remained essentially unchanged as well. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaged 5.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.89 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.51 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it was 5.50 percent. "Stronger-than-expected inflation reports and retail sales for November put upward pressure on long-term interest rates late last week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "However, ensuing data releases suggested further weakness in the housing market over November and December and allowed interest rates to drift back down. The net effect left mortgage rates little changed this week. "Both the producer and consumer price indexes jumped for the month of November, implying inflation may still be a threat to the economy while retail sales increased twice as much as market forecasts, reflecting healthy consumer spending. At roughly the same time, single-family housing starts fell 5.4 percent in November to 829,000, the slowest pace since April 1991, and homebuilder confidence in December held for the third consecutive month at the lowest level since records began in January 1985." For more information, visit http://www.freddiemac.com.