Mortgage Rates Fall

Average rates on a conforming, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 11 basis points in the past week, reaching 6.26 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ended July 17, Freddie Mac (FRE) said Thursday. Rates are well below last year’s average of 6.73 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages found at least some relief, too, as the market digested shifting market perception suggesting the the Fed likely won’t be raising the target federal funds rate anytime soon. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.80 percent for the week, down 2 basis points from last week’s average of 5.82 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.10 percent this week, down 7 basis points. “Mortgage rates fell this week amid market speculation that the Federal Reserve (Fed) may not raise the overnight bank-lending rate this year after all,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Some of the factors motivating the change in market perceptions this week included retail sales for June rising at the slowest pace since February and consumer sentiment in July holding at low levels not seen since 1980. “In addition, in his July 15th semi-annual testimony before Congress, Fed chairman Bernanke indicated that the FOMC participants had considerable uncertainty surrounding their outlook for economic growth.” For more information, visit Disclosure: The author was long FRE when this story was published; indirect holdings may also exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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