Mortgage rates held stead, increasing only slightly, but remained below 3 percent as the number of global COVID-19 cases rose.
Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.98 percent, up slightly from last week’s 2.97 percent. This is down from last year, when the 30-year rate averaged 3.23 percent.
“In light of the rising COVID caseloads globally, U.S. Treasury yields stopped moving up a month ago and have remained within a narrow range as the market digests incoming economic data,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “The good news is that with rates under 3 percent, refinancing continues to be attractive for many borrowers who financed before 2020. But, for eager buyers, especially first-time homebuyers, inventory continues to be extremely tight and competition for available homes to purchase remains high.”
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.31 percent, up from last week when it averaged 2.29 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.77 percent.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.64 percent, down from last week when it averaged 2.83 percent. A year ago at this time, the five-year ARM averaged 3.14 percent.
With mortgage rates at all time lows, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will introduce a new refinance program for low-income borrowers to lower their interest rates and monthly payments, creating a potential savings of $100 to $250 per month.
At its Federal Open Markets Committee meeting this week, the Federal Reserve restated its intent to keeping a lid on interest rates, saying the pandemic “continues to weigh on the economy, and risks to the economic outlook remain.”