Mortgage Rates Climb

Profits upFreddie Mac just released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.25 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending February 5, 2009, up from last week when it averaged 5.10 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.67 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.92 percent with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.80 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.15 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.26 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 5.27 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.21 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.92 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.90 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.03 percent.

(Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.)

“Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages rose this week amid economic reports that were somewhat better than consensus forecasts had anticipated,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The economy slowed by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, less than the market consensus, with inflationary pressures held at bay. Meanwhile, personal incomes fell by only half as much as some market forecasters predicted.

Low mortgage rates and falling house prices have made housing the most affordable in 19 years. The National Association of Realtor’s monthly affordability index rose to an all-time record high in December 2008 since records began in January 1971. As a result, pending existing home sales rose 6.3 percent in December 2008 and were up 2.1 percent from the previous December.”

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