Mortgage Rates Start the New Year Near Record Lows

Happy 2013! The new year is all about ritual and resolutions. Everyone plans to eat better, work out more, and get more organized or spend more time with friends and family. We’re all guilty of at least one of these, aren’t we? I wonder, did you, my mortgage-rate seeking friends, resolve anything fun this year?  My friend Julie resolved to take a picture every day for a year to help hone her photography skills. My friend Tom is drawing something every day to improve his artistic ability. This year, I resolved to avoid a cliche resolution and promised to laugh more and worry less, and bring you the PMMS report every Thursday!

So let’s get to it, shall we? Rates this week started out the new year near record lows! That’s a good sign! But, you should take care not to get too comfortable with these low rates. As our Chief Economist, Bob Walters, points out waiting makes “absolutely no sense. Rates have very little room to drop further, and yet we are one surprise away from a significant increase in mortgage rates. Those with rates that are higher than, say, 4.25 percent, should take advantage of rates that could very well be the lowest we’ll see for generations.”

30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped this week, reaching 3.34% with an average of 0.7 points. Last week they averaged 3.35%. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.91%.

15-year fixed-rate also dropped this week to 2.64% with an average of 0.7 points, down from last week’s 2.65%. Last year, the 15-year rate averaged 3.23%.

ARMs were up this week. The  5-year ARM averaged 2.71% with an average 0.6 points, up from last week when it averaged 2.70%. Meanwhile the 1-year ARM was at 2.57% this week with an average 0.4 points, up from last week when it averaged 2.56%. A year ago the 5-year ARM and the 1-year ARM averaged 2.86% and 2.80% respectively.

And now for old reliable, our weekly quote from Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist from Freddie Mac:

“Mortgage rates started the year near record lows which should continue to aid the ongoing housing recovery. New home sales rose in November to a two-year high and were up 15.3 percent from the previous November. Similarly, pending sales on existing homes increased for the third month in November to the strongest pace since April 2010.”

 

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