Fixed Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows

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.