Low mortgage rates stay that way

By Palm Beach Business.com

DELRAY BEACH — The recovering housing market continues to get a big assist from cheap mortgage rates. Already low mortgage rate barely moved over the past week according to separate reports from Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.

Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey spotted the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 5.14 percent, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s 5.12 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.40 percent.

Bankrate put the average 30-year at 5.53 percent, with 0.32 point, up from 5.52 percent a week ago.

"Long-term mortgage rates were barely changed this week, remaining historically low, which is helping to sustain a high level of affordability in the home-purchase market," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist." Low rates contributed to existing home sales rising for the fourth consecutive month to an annual pace of 5.24 million in July, the most since August 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.”

The flow of economic news continues to be positive but the widely held view of a slow recovery is helping keep rates low, according to Bankrate.

Also from the Freddie Mac survey:

< The 15-year fixed rate average 4.58 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s 4.56 percent.

< Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages average 4.67 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s 4.57 percent.

< One-year ARMs averaged 4.69 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week.

Also from Bankrate:

< The average 15-year fixed rate and jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rates both inched lower to 4.83 percent and 6.43 percent, respectively. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the average 1-year ARM dropping to 5.1 percent and the 5-year ARM climbing to 4.95 percent.

Bankrate's weekly Rate Trend Index overwhelmingly sees rates staying put pretty much over the next 30 to 45 days. Sixty-four percent of the index panelists see rates holding steady, while the remaining panelists are split down the middle on whether they’ll rise or fall.

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