Like the last audible sounds of a howling wolf, mortgage rates have leveled out to a nice place this week according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. After weeks of market fluctuations, fixed rates have finally found a cozy place to stay, as 30- and 15-year rates are unchanged from last week. Adjustable rate mortgages dropped a smidge this week, turning good news into pretty cool good news. “Pretty cool good news” is the one-sentence nonsense summary of mortgage rates this week, but let’s take a look at the raw numbers from Freddie Mac for a deeper dive.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.57% with an average 0.8 point for the week ending September 12, 2013, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.55%.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.59% with an average 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.85%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.22% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.28%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.72%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.67% this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.71%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.61%.
As you can see, mortgage rates have entered a brief moment of respite for the time being. Perhaps with September being a month of change with summer fading, mortgage rates decided to give us some stability. Or, they’re based on numerous highly complex economic factors that have nothing to do with the previous sentence. In either case, here’s Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, discussing the hows and whys of market changes.
“Mortgage rates were little changed this week following a mixed employment report. For example, the economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which was below the market consensus forecast, and revisions subtracted another 74,000 from the prior two months. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3%, which was the lowest since December 2008.”