The Wall Street Journal

30 September 2011

Fixed mortgage rates sank to record lows over the past week following the Federal Reserve’s decision to buy longer-term Treasurys, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said interest rates for adjustable-rate mortgages, however, were nearly unchanged due to the Fed’s plans to sell $400 billion in short-term Treasury securities and buy longer-term notes and bonds. Shorter-term securities serve as benchmarks for many adjustable-rate mortgages.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.01% for the week ended Thursday, down from 4.09% the previous week and 4.32% last year. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.28%, down from 3.29% last week and 3.75% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.02%, unchanged from last week and down from 3.52% a year ago. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.83%, up slightly from 2.82% in the prior week but below the 3.48% average seen last year.