Mortgage rates declined this week on waning inflation threats and worries of more Federal Reserve rate hikes on the backburner, according to surveys from mortgage buyer Freddie Mac and Bankrate.
Rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.24 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week’s average of 6.33 percent, Freddie Mac reported. Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.94 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week’s 6.04 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.04 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 6.08 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.53 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week’s average of 5.55 percent.
“Both long- and short-term mortgage rates fell this week on early signs that the threat of inflation may be waning,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index for October came in lower than expected and bond yields dropped, pulling mortgage rates lower.
“We’ve probably seen the worst of the housing slump, although it may not have entirely bottomed out yet. On the other hand, lower mortgage rates should help stimulate activity in the housing market,” Nothaft said.
Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest level since Jan. 25, with the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.24 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly survey of large lenders.
The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage, popular for refinancing, dipped back beneath the 6 percent barrier, to 5.98 percent. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate slid to 6.47 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages also declined. The average 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages settled at 6.13 percent and the average one-year ARM retreated to 5.87 percent.
Indications that inflation pressures may be easing and comments from Federal Reserve Board members downplaying the likelihood of further interest rate hikes helped push mortgage rates lower, Bankrate said.
The latest reading on the Producer Price Index showed a decline in prices, an antidote to the inflation concerns of the Fed. In addition, remarks by several Fed governors in recent days were notably softer than the anti-inflation rhetoric that had prevailed of late. With worries about any additional interest rate hikes put on the backburner, investors purchased government and mortgage-backed bonds. This pushed bond prices higher and bond yields lower. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on long-term government and mortgage-backed bonds.
The following is a sampling of Bankrate.com’s average 30-year-mortgage interest rates this week in some U.S. metropolitan areas:
New York – 6.23 percent with 0.08 point
Los Angeles – 6.33 percent with 0.41 point
Chicago – 6.34 percent with 0.11 point
San Francisco – 6.23 percent with 0.45 point
Philadelphia – 6.16 percent with 0.48 point
Detroit – 6.3 percent with 0.03 points
Boston – 6.21 percent with 0.22 point
Houston – 6.22 percent with 0.48 point
Dallas – 6.22 percent with 0.43 point
Washington, D.C. – 6.15 percent with 0.51 point