Mortgage rates set new record lows in two weekly surveys. The Freddie Mac survey put the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) at 4.54% with an average 0.7 origination point for the week ending July 29, down from last week’s average of 4.56% and a year ago, when the average was 5.25%. It’s a new record low for the survey, which began in 1971. The Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts put the average rate for a 30-year FRM at 4.71% with a 0.44, down from last week’s average of 4.74% and a new record low for the nearly 25-year-old survey. “For the sixth week in a row, interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages eased to all-time record lows during a week of mixed housing data reports,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. A new addition to the Bankrate survey was a benchmark rate for 30-year jumbo FRMs, which averaged 5.43%, a record low reached last week, and unchanged this week. “The number of local markets experiencing annual increases in home prices appears to be growing,” Nothaft said. “For instance, 13 metropolitan areas in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index experienced price appreciation over the 12-months ending in May, compared to 11 in April and 10 in March.” “However, existing home sales in June slowed to an annualized pace of 4.37m units, the fewest since March,” he added. “Moreover, although new home sales jumped by almost 24% to 330,000 dwellings, it represented the second slowest rate since 1963.” Freddie said the average rate for a 15-year FRM averaged 4% with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s average of 4.03% and a year ago, when the average was 4.69%. The average is a new low for the survey, which began in 1991. Bankrate put the average rate for a 15-year FRM at 4.17% with a 0.44 origination point, down from last week’s average of 4.18%, also a nearly 25-year record for the survey. Freddie said the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.76% with an average 0.7 point this week, down from last week when it averaged 3.79%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.75%. Bankrate said the five-year ARM averaged 4.07% with a 0.44 origination point, up from last week’s average of 4.06%. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.64% with an average 0.7 point this week, down from last week when it averaged 3.7%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.8%. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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