Average mortgage rates changed little this week, with the 30-year fixed rate ticking down a basis point to 3.98 percent, staying below the key 4 percent level, according to Freddie Mac.
Two weeks ago, higher bond yields higher and improving economic data lifted the 30-year fixed rate mortgage over the 4 percent level for the first time since Oct. 27, 2011.
But that was short lived. Mixed housing market data since then has pushed down the key long-term mortgage rate back below 4 percent.
Previously, the average 30-year fixed rate had been below 4 percent for 15 consecutive weeks. The all-time low of 3.87 percent was set in February.
“Average weekly mortgage rates were little changed this week amid mixed signals on the health of the economy,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.
The March 13th policy committee minutes from the Federal Reserve noted that the housing market remained depressed. The Fed supported the continuation of the maturity extension program through June 2012, but did not announce any new stimulus action beyond that date, Nothaft said
Here is Freddie Mac’s overview of mortgage rates:
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ending April 5, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.99 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.87 percent.
- The 15-year this week averaged 3.21 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.86 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.90 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.72 percent.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.78 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.22 percent.