Mortgage rates have hovered near historic lows in recent weeks, with prime borrowers making 20 percent downpayments this week able to obtain 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at just over 5 percent, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.07 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ending Sept. 10, Freddie Mac said, down from 5.08 percent last week and 5.93 percent a year ago.

Rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans hit a record low of 4.78 percent in April, thanks in large part to the Federal Reserve’s commitment to purchase up to $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae (see story).

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.5 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 4.54 percent last week and 5.54 percent a year ago.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 4.51 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 4.59 percent last week and 5.87 percent a year ago.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 4.64 percent, with an average 0.6 point, up from 4.62 percent last week but down from 5.21 percent a year ago.

Those rates are for borrowers with an 80 percent or lower loan-to-value ratio on loans eligible for purchase by Freddie Mac. Borrowers making smaller downpayments or seeking loans too large or risky for Freddie Mac can expect to pay more.

Low rates helped spur a 17 percent increase in mortgage appplications last week, including a 22.5 percent increase in requests for refinancings, the Mortgage Bankers Association said (see story).


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