According to a Wall Street Journal article on 5-5-2011 the average rate on the 30-year mortgage matched its lowest level since mid-January this week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey released Thursday.
The mortgage averaged 4.71% for the week ending May 5, down from 4.78% last week and 5% a year ago, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89% this week, the lowest since the beginning of the year. It averaged 3.97% last week and 4.36% a year ago.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.47% this week, down from 3.51% last week and 3.97% a year ago.
And 1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 3.14%, down from 3.15% last week and 4.07% a year ago.
To obtain the rates, the fixed-rate mortgages required payment of an average 0.7 point, while the five-year ARM required an average 0.6 point and the 1-year ARM required an average 0.5 point. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.
"Weaker economic data reports reduced Treasury bond yields and allowed mortgage rates to drift lower for the third consecutive week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, in a news release. "For instance, real economic growth in the first quarter fell short of the market consensus forecast and represented the slowest pace since the second quarter of 2010. In addition, both the manufacturing and service sectors exhibited growth at a slower rate in April."
But reports on the housing market were a bit more uplifting, he added.
"The National Association of Realtors reported pending home sales rose in March for the second month in a row to the highest index reading since
November 2010," Mr. Nothaft said. "Also, the Federal Reserve reported credit standards among commercial banks for prime mortgages were unchanged on net in the second quarter of the year, following two quarters of tightening."
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