Mortgage rates were largely unchanged this week, according to a survey by Freddie Mac taken before investor reaction to the latest attempt by European leaders to address the region’s debt crisis. Stocks soared today on hopes that the plan, which bolsters a European bailout fund, will avert a financial crisis.
Most mortgages are funded by investor purchases of mortgage-backed securities, which are seen as a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty. When bonds fall out of favor with investors, their yields rise, driving up interest rates on mortgages.
For the week ending Oct. 27, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.1 percent with an average 0.8 point, essentially unchanged from 4.11 percent last week, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
This time a year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 4.23 percent before climbing to a 2011 high of 5.05 percent in February. The most popular loan with homebuyers, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, hit an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.94 percent during the week ending Oct. 6.
Rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans averaged 3.38 percent with an average 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. At this time a year ago, 15-year loans averaged 3.66 percent before climbing to a 2011 high of 4.29 percent in February.
The 15-year loan, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, hit an all-time low in records dating to 1991 of 3.26 percent during the week ending Oct. 6.
For five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, rates averaged 3.08 percent with an average 0.5 point, up 3.01 percent last week. At this time a year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.41 percent, before hitting a 2011 high of 3.92 percent in February. The five-year ARM hit an all-time low in records dating to 2005 of 2.96 percent during the week ending Oct. 6.
The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.9 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.94 percent last week. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.3 percent, before climbing to a 2011 high of 3.4 percent in February. Rates on one-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 1984 of 2.81 percent during the week ending Sept. 15.
Looking back a week, a separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for purchase loans was up a seasonally adjusted 6.4 percent during the week ending Oct. 21 compared to the week before. Purchase loan demand was down 2.7 percent from the same week a year ago.
For the month of September, investors accounted for 6 percent of purchase loan requests, the MBA said, up from 5.7 percent in August. Second-home buyers accounted for 5.8 percent of purchase loan applications, down from 6 percent in August.