The Wall Street Journal

29 AprilĀ  2011

Mortgage rates declined in the latest week, with the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edging lower, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.

“Mortgage rates followed Treasury bond yields lower this week amid weak local economic data reports on business conditions and house prices,” said Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. Mortgage rates generally track Treasury yields, which move inversely to Treasury prices.

Rates have slumped for months, setting record lows in the process, as yields on Treasurys slid amid economic uncertainty. But yields began to rise at the end of August. Mortgage rates generally track the yields, which move inversely to Treasury prices.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.78% for the week ended Thursday, down slightly from the prior week’s 4.8% average and 5.06% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were 3.97%, down from 4.02% in the previous week and 4.39% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.51%, down from the prior week’s 3.61% and 4% a year earlier. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were 3.15%, down from 3.16% and 4.25%, respectively.

To obtain the rates, the fixed-rate mortgages required payment of an average 0.7 point and the others required an average 0.6 point. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.