Industry NewsMortgage

Fannie, Freddie problems not pushing rates up

Government pledge to backstop GSEs helping rate spread

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Fears that the government will be forced to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may actually be helping drive mortgage rates down, an effect that could be dampened as investors rush back into the stock market this week. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.26 percent with an average of 0.6 point for the week ending July 17, down from 6.37 percent a week ago and 6.73 percent at the same time last year, Freddie Mac said in its weekly mortgage market survey. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were also down, falling from 5.91 percent a week ago to 5.78 percent with an average 0.6 point. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans showed less dramatic reductions, with the rate on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaging 5.8 percent with an average of 0.6 point, down from 5.82 percent last week and 6.35 percent a year ago. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.1 percent with an average of 0.6 point, down from 5.17 percent last week and 5.72 percent a...