Fixed-rate mortgages bounced back slightly this week from last week’s record lows, but rates on adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans have never been lower in records kept by Freddie Mac.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.21 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Oct. 21, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s up from 4.19 percent last week and 5 percent a year ago.

Last week’s rate was a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971, and the lowest since April 1951, according to another set of data going back to 1948 that’s based on FHA rates.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.64 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from 3.62 percent last week and 4.43 percent a year ago. Last week’s rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans was a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1991.

Rates on 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM loans averaged 3.45 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from 3.47 percent last week and 4.4 percent a year ago.  That’s a new low in Freddie Mac records dating to January 2005.

Rates on 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans averaged 3.3 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.43 percent last week and 4.54 percent a year ago. The 1-year ARM has not been lower since Freddie Mac started tracking it in January 1984.

Despite this month’s low rates, demand for purchase mortgages remains down from a year ago, according to a separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed demand for purchase loans down 29.4 percent from a year ago during the week ending Oct. 15, with applications falling a seasonally adjusted 6.7 percent from the week before.

Applications to refinance were up 11.2 percent from the previous week, accounting for 82.4 percent of all mortgage applications.

Rates on fixed-rate loans are so low that demand for ARM loans remains weak, although requests for ARM loans accounted for 5.8 percent of applications last week, up from 5.4 percent the week before.

Freddie Mac’s rate survey tracks prime conventional conforming mortgages with a 20 percent downpayment. Borrowers with damaged credit or those making smaller downpayments will pay higher rates.

Most would-be homeowners have credit scores that are too low for them to qualify for the best rates on a mortgage, and nearly one in three are unlikely to get a loan on any terms, according an analysis by Zillow.

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