Mortgage Rates Hold Near Lows

The Wall Street Journal

6 January 2012

Average fixed mortgage rates in the U.S. over the past week kicked off the new year at or near record lows, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.

The firm noted the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage during the period matched its all-time low, making it the fifth straight week the rate has averaged below 4%.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.91% for the week ended Thursday, down from 3.95% the previous week and 4.77% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.23%, down from 3.24% last week and 4.13% a year earlier.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, averaged 2.86%, down from 2.88% last week and 3.75% a year ago. One-year Treasury-indexed ARM rates averaged 2.8%, up from 2.78% the prior week, though below 3.24% last year.

To obtain the rates, 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages required an average payment of 0.8 percentage point. Five-year and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages required an average 0.7 percentage point and 0.6 percentage point payment, respectively. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.