Industry News, Mortgage, News Brief

No signs of pressure on home loan rates

Fed expected to keep buying mortgages through next year

Mortgage rates stayed in the basement this week, as mortgage-backed securities that fund the vast majority of home loans continued to look like a safe bet to investors.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.39 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Nov. 1, down from 3.41 percent last week and 4.00 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans hit an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 3.36 percent during the week ending Oct. 4.

For 15-year fixed-rate loans, rates averaged 2.70 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 2.72 percent last week and 3.31 percent a year ago. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans reached an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1991 of 2.66 percent during the week ending Oct. 18.

Rates on 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.74 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.75 percent last week and 2.96 percent a year ago. Rates on five-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 2005 of 2.69 percent during the week ending July 19.

For 1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs, rates averaged 2.58 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from 2.59 percent last week and 2.88 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year ARM loans hit an all-time low in records dating to 1984 of 2.57 percent during the week ending Oct. 4.

A weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for purchase mortgages was up a seasonally adjusted 1 percent during the week ending Oct. 26 when compared to the week before, and up 6 percent from the same week a year ago.

Members of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee said last week they expect to keep their target for short-term interest rates at "exceptionally low levels" at least through mid-2015.

The Fed is also keeping mortgage rates low, by boosting purchases of mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by $40 billion a month. Economists at Fannie Mae think the open-ended program may continue through next year and into 2014.


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