Monday, March 27, 2006

Weekly Interest Rates

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.32 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending March 23, 2006, down from the previous week's average of 6.34 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.01 percent.
The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 5.97 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down slightly from the previous week's average of 5.98 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.56 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.96 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up from the previous week when it averaged 5.93 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 5.35 percent. Six months ago nearly half of all loans were adjustable rate mortgages today maybe 20 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.41 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from 5.37 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.24 percent.
"The most recent economic indicators released this week showed that inflation is, indeed, being held in check," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "That news allowed long-term mortgage rates to drift a little lower for the second week in a row. Shorter-term rates, however, rose in reaction to a recent speech by Chairman Bernanke, of the Federal Reserve Board, that hinted at even further rate hikes this year."
Meanwhile, existing home sales (in more affordable states) for February were unexpectedly high, but experts think that this may be due to an unseasonably warm January when those contracts were closed. Nonetheless, the housing industry remains fundamentally fit as we move into the spring buying season.


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