Fixed mortgage rates in the U.S. sank to record lows over the past week following the Federal Reserve’s decision to lengthen the average maturity of its massive balance sheet, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.
Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted that interest rates for adjustable-rate mortgages were nearly unchanged due to Fed plans to sell $400 billion in short-term Treasury securities, which serve as benchmarks for many ARMs.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.01% for the week ended Thursday, down from 4.09% the previous week and 4.32% last year. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.28%, down from 3.29% last week and 3.75% a year earlier.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.02%, unchanged from last week and down from 3.52% a year ago. One-year Treasury-indexed ARM rates averaged 2.83%, up slightly from 2.82% in the prior week but below the 3.48% average seen last year.
To obtain the rates, 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages required an average payment of 0.7 point.
Five-year and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages required an average 0.6-point payment. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.
The Wall Street Journal
By MIA LAMAR