Freddie Mac: Mortgages continue to new lows

By Palm Beach Staff

DELRAY BEACH – Mortgage rates continue to fall to new historic lows.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.78 percent, down from last week’s 4.85 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year averaged 5.88 percent.

The 30-year has never been lower in the 38 years that Freddie Mac has conducted the weekly survey.

“Mortgage rates followed other interest rates lower this week amid reports of slower economic growth.” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The final estimate of economic growth in the fourth quarter was revised lower and personal incomes fell 0.2 percent in February, below the market consensus.”

Other mortgage rates: The 15-year averaged 4.52 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 4.58 percent. That also is a record low in the 18 years Freddie Mac has surveyed the 15-year.

Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.92 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from 4.96 percent. It too is a record low.

One-year ARMs averaged 4.75 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from 4.85 percent.

“On a positive note, pending existing home sales rose 2.1 percent in February, marking the second increase in three months as potential homebuyers are taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates and falling home prices,” Nothaft said. “Serving as a spur to sales, housing affordability reached an all-time high in February 2009 since the series' inception in 1971, according to the National Association of Realtors.”

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