Weak economic reports to start the New Year have led mortgage rates to plummet, with rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaging 5.87 percent for the week ending January 10, 2008 — down from last week’s 6.07 percent and the lowest such rate since September 2005. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.63 percent this week, according to a survey released by Freddie Mac, down from 5.78 percent one week ago. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.03 percent. “The latest employment report showed that the economy added 18,000 jobs in December, the smallest gain since August 2003, and the unemployment rate jumped to a two-year high of 5 percent. In addition, the Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing business activity showed that the service sector had the slowest expansion in nine months during December,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “As a result, mortgage rates came down across the board, with 30-year fixed mortgage rates at their lowest level in more than two years.” For more information, visit http://www.freddiemac.com.

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