30-Year FRMs Continue to Hover at About 4%

Mortgage & Real Estate

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate tracked by Freddie Mac during the week ending Dec. 1 came in 2 basis points higher at 4%, but still left the average for the past month below 4%.

“If you look at the entire month of November, the 30-year averaged 3.99%,” said Freddie Mac spokesman Chad Wandler. For 15-year loans the average was 3.31%, he noted.

“We’re talking incredibly low mortgage rates,” he said. “For those people in the market, and who can qualify, it’s an incredible opportunity.”

The 15-year FRM rate during the most recent week maintained the same average as the previous week, 3.3%, while the five-year Treasury indexed hybrid was down a basis point at 2.9%. The average rate for a one-year Treasury ARM also inched down by a basis point to 2.78%.

Fifteen-year loans carried the highest average points, 0.8, followed by 30-year mortgages with 0.7 of a point. Both five-year Treasury hybrids and one-year ARMs averaged 0.6 of a point.

Collectively mixed economic indicators that drove some large market swings in rate-indicative bond yields during the week kept rates relatively stable.

Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft noted in his weekly report that the Fed’s new Beige Book pointed to overall moderate economic improvement in most districts but also indicated that the residential real estate market generally is still relatively slow.

He also noted that while consumer confidence registered its largest jump since April 2003 in the past week, and pending home sales registered their strongest pace since November 2010, the seasonally adjusted Standard Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index fell for the fifth consecutive month.

A year ago the 30-year rate was 4.46%, the 15-year rate was 3.81%, the five-year Treasury hybrid rate was 3.49% and the one-year Treasury ARM rate was 3.25%.

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