Mortgage rates reverse course, head lower
Mortgage rates have been steadily climbing uphill in recent weeks, but that trend reversed course in the latest data from mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending September 19, 2013, both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) saw significant declines in week-over-week averages.
“Mortgage rates drifted downwards this week amid signs of a weakening economic recovery,” Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement.
Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.50 percent, down from 4.57 percent one week earlier, while 15-year fixed mortgages fell from 3.59 percent to 3.54 percent in the same time frame.
One year ago at this time, 30-year FRM averaged 3.49 percent and 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 2.77 percent.
Meanwhile, in this latest data, average rates for 5-year ARMs dropped to 3.11 percent from last week’s 3.22 percent average, and 1-year ARMs fell modestly from 2.67 percent to 2.65 percent.
One year earlier at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.76 percent and 1-year ARMs averaged 2.61 percent.
Nothaft pointed out a number of signifiers pointing to the aforementioned weakening of the economic recovery that may have contributed to these weekly declines in average mortgage rates.
“Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in August which was nearly half of July’s 0.4 percent increase,” he said. “In addition, industrial production in August grew 0.4 percent, less than the market consensus forecast. And lastly, consumer sentiment fell for the second consecutive month in September to the lowest reading since April.”
Source: Freddie Mac
Related: See current mortgage refinance rates