In the week ending October 1, 2009, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate averaged 4.94 percent fell below 5 percent for the first time since May, nearing its all-time low of 4.78 percent reached last April.
Twice in April the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.78 percent. It has not been lower since Freddie Mac initiated its weekly survey of mortgage rates for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage in 1971.
The 15-year fixed rate mortgage last week averaged 4.36 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.46 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate averaged 5.78 percent. This is the lowest the 15-year FRM has been since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.42 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.00 percent.
The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable rate mortgage averaged 4.49 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.52 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.12 percent.
“Low mortgage rates are helping to stabilize home sales,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “New home sales in August rose to the highest annualized pace since September 2008 and the inventory of unsold houses fell to the lowest level since February 1983.
Although existing home sales fell somewhat in August, it was still the second strongest showing in 23 months. Furthermore, house prices increased for the second month in a row in July, after adjusting for seasonality, based on the 20-city composite S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index®. Moreover, the increases were more broad-based in July with house prices rising in 17 of these metropolitan areas, compared to 16 in June.