Mortgage Rate Falls Below 5%

The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Home-mortgage rates fell this week, with the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages retreating back below the psychologically significant 5% level, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.

Treasury yields, which hit multidecade lows earlier this year, have been bobbing up and down recently after they retraced from a big rebound in the summer. Mortgage rates tend to follow the yields. Monday, the National Association of Realtors reported pending sales of previously owned homes rose in September for a eighth month in a row, and last week, the S&P Case-Shiller index showed U.S. home prices increased in August for the fourth time in a row.

And although home resales surged in September according to Commerce Department data, the department said new-home sales fell unexpectedly in September after five months of growth.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.98% for the week ended Thursday, down from last week’s 5.03% average and 6.2% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were 4.4%, down from 4.46% last week and 5.88% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.35%, down from last week’s 4.42% and 6.19% a year earlier. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were 4.47%, down from 4.57% last week and 5.25% a year earlier.