Mortgage rates dropped on a weekly basis, matching the downward trend seen for much of 2012, Freddie Mac revealed in its last weekly mortgage survey of the year.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 27, 2012, fixed mortgage rates largely dropped on a weekly basis and ended the year at averages very close to historical low marks.
“Mortgage rates ended this year near record lows,” Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent for 2012, the lowest annual average in at least 65 years.”
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In this latest data, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to an average rate of 3.35 percent, down from the previous week’s 3.37 percent average. Shorter-term 15-year fixed-rate mortgages stayed even week-over-week at an average 2.65 percent.
Both 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages ended 2012 at averages far below those registered at the end of 2011.
One year ago at this time, 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.95 percent, while 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.24 percent.
The record-low mortgage-rate environment that persisted for the majority of 2012 helped keep affordability high for potential home buyers, Freddie Mac noted.
“Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages were nearly 0.6 percentage points below that of the beginning of the year, which translates into an interest payment savings of nearly $98,600 over the life of a $200,000 loan,” Nothaft said. “Moreover, opting for a 15-year fixed mortgage at today’s rates, a homeowner could save an additional $138,400 in interest payments.”
Interest rates for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) showed mixed results in this last survey of 2012, Freddie Mac said, but also ended the year close to record lows.
Average rates for 5-year AMRs dropped slightly week-over-week from 2.71 percent to 2.70 percent, while 1-year ARMs rose to an average of 2.56 percent after coming in at 2.52 percent the previous week.
One year ago at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.88 percent and 1-year ARMs averaged 2.78 percent.