Mortgage Rates Set Fresh 2011 Low After Jobs Report

The Wall Street Journal

10 June  2011

Home mortgage rates fell again to a fresh 2011 low as a week of downbeat jobs data fueled concerns over a possible economic slowdown this year, according to the latest survey from Freddie Mac.

The decline in fixed rates represented the eighth-straight weekly fall and comes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week said employers added far fewer private-sector jobs than expected.

“The housing market continues to be fragile across the nation as well,” Freddie chief economist Frank Nothaft said, with Federal Reserve data released Wednesday showing weak sales and prices in most districts.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.49% in the week ended Thursday, down from 4.55% the prior week and last year’s 4.72% average. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.68% from 3.74% the previous week and 4.17% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.28%, from 3.41% last week and 3.91% a year earlier. One-year Treasury-indexed ARM rates decreased to 2.95%, from 3.13% the prior week and 3.91% a year earlier.

To obtain the rates, fixed-rate borrowers required an average payment of 0.7 point, while the adjustable-rate mortgages required a 0.5 point payment. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.