Long-term mortgage rates dropped for the third consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey.

Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.67 percent for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.74 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.15 percent, down from last week when it averaged 5.19 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.7.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.05 percent this week, with an average 0.6 points, unchanged from last week. There is no historical information for last year since Freddie Mac began tracking this mortgage rate at the beginning of this year.

The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.11 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, nearly unchanged from last week when it averaged 4.1 percent.

“Financial markets see inflation as being well managed by the Fed, and that allows long-term interest rates to remain low, with mortgage rates even falling a little more this week,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “With housing starts in December near record levels and November starts revised upward, the housing industry looks like it will remain vibrant in 2005.”

The following is a sampling of Bankrate’s average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas.

New York – 5.75 percent with 0.08 point

Los Angeles – 5.77 percent with 0.5 point

Chicago – 5.74 percent with 0.07 point

San Francisco – 5.79 percent with 0.29 point

Philadelphia – 5.65 percent with 0.29 point

Detroit – 5.66 percent with 0.25 point

Boston – 5.76 percent with no points

Houston – 5.7 percent with 0.71 point

Dallas – 5.69 percent with 0.42 point

Washington, D.C. – 5.61 percent with 0.56 point


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