Mortgage rates were nearly level from last week, according to two weekly surveys. Freddie Mac’s (FRE) weekly survey put the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at 5.06% with an average 0.7 origination point for the week ending April 29, down 1 basis point (BP) from last week’s average of 5.07%. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.8%. The Bankrate.com survey of large banks and thrifts put the average rate for a 30-year FRM at 5.21% with a 0.45 origination point, also down 1bp from last week’s average of 5.22%. “Mortgage rates on 30-year fixed loans have averaged about 5% over the first four months of this year, staying within a band of roughly a quarter percentage point and virtually matching 2009’s annual average,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “These low rates have been helping to moderate house price declines over the course of the year. Freddie said the average rate for a 15-year FRM was 4.39% with an average 0.7 point, even from last week’s average, but below the average one year ago, when the 15-year FRM averaged 4.48%. Bankrate.com put the 15-year FRM at 4.54% with a 0.45 origination point, down 1 bp from last week’s average of 4.55%. Freddie said the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.00% with an average 0.6 point this week, down from last week when it averaged 4.03%. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 4.85%. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.25% with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.22%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.82%. Bankrate.com said the five-year ARM averaged 4.37% with a 0.45 origination point, down from 4.42% one year ago. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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