Mortgage rates reverse recent trend, head lower
All mortgage types see decrease in average rates
After remaining even for much of February, mortgage rates moved lower in the most recent weekly survey from Freddie Mac.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending February 28, 2013, both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) saw average rates head lower week-over-week.
Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 3.51 percent from 3.56 percent the previous week, while 15-year fixed mortgages dropped slightly to 2.76 percent from 2.77 percent one week prior.
One year ago at this time, 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.90 percent and 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.17 percent.
“Mortgage rates eased somewhat as the consumer price index in February held steady for the second month in a row,” Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement. “House price indicators, however, showed gains in 2012.”
Nothaft continued: “The S&P/Case-Shiller® national home price index rose 7.3 percent last year, reflecting the largest four-quarter growth since the third quarter of 2006. This, in part, was a driving force that pushed up the number of existing and new home sales in February to the highest levels since July 2007 and July 2008, respectively.”
ARM rates fall, too
Rates for ARMs dropped week-over-week alongside the drops in fixed mortgage rates.
Average rates for 5-year ARMs fell to 2.61 percent from 2.64 percent the previous week, while 1-year ARMs dropped from an average of 2.65 percent to an average of 2.64 percent on a weekly basis.
One year ago at this time, 5-year ARMs averages 2.64 percent and 1-year ARMs averages 2.72 percent.