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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interest rates on mortgages hold steady below 5%: Freddie Mac

Interest rates on mortgages held steady across all product types during the week ending March 10, Freddie Mac said.
The average 30-year, fixed-mortgage rate increased just 1 basis point to 4.88%, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That's up from a rate of 4.95% this time last year. Just one month ago, rates were 5.05% — the only instance in which rates broke 5% this year.
Rates on 15-year FRMs held steady at 4.15% compared to one week prior. The average origination point for this type of loan is currently 0.7. The rate for a 15-year FRM was 4.32% one year ago.
According to Freddie Mac, five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages increased slightly to 3.73% from 3.72% one week ago, while one-year, Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged to 3.21%. During the same week in 2010, the rates for these ARMs were 4.05% and 4.22%, respectively.
Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said positive macroeconomic factors including unemployment are steadying mortgage rates.
"Mortgage rates held steady amid a strong employment report," Nothaft said. " The private sector added 222,000 jobs in February, the most since March 2006 while the unemployment rate fell to 8.9%, the lowest share since April 2009."
The Bankrate survey of large thrifts showed the same trend in mortgage rates; however, rates remain above Freddie Mac's. The rate for a 30-year FRM increased one basis point to 5.04%, the rate for 15-year FRMs rose slightly to 4.32%, and the rate for a 5-year ARM increased to 3.88%.

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