The average rate on a conventional, conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.16 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Feb. 12, down from 5.25 percent last week and 5.72 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are almost 1.5 percentage points below their 2008 peak, translating into a monthly payment savings of around $188 on a $200,000 mortgage, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

The average rate on a conventional, conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.16 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Feb. 12, down from 5.25 percent last week and 5.72 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are almost 1.5 percentage points below their 2008 peak, translating into a monthly payment savings of around $188 on a $200,000 mortgage, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

Nothaft said that with outstanding mortgages carrying an average rate of 6.2 percent, about 80 percent of mortgage applications in the last three months have been for refinancings.

The Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday reported that despite falling rates, applications for mortgage loans for the week ending Feb. 6 were down 24.5 percent from the previous week (see story).

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed 15-year fixed-rate-mortgages averaging 4.81 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 4.92 percent last week and 5.25 percent a year ago.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.23 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 5.26 percent last week but up from 5.19 percent a year ago.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.94 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from 4.92 percent last week but down from 5 percent a year ago.

Freddie Mac’s rate survey is based on prime conventional conforming mortgages with a 20 percent down payment. Borrowers seeking to make smaller down payments or who don’t meet Freddie Mac’s underwriting standards may pay higher rates, as will those seeking "jumbo" loans larger than what Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are allowed to purchase or guarantee.

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