Mortgage Rates Haven't Moved Much in 4 Weeks (A Good Thing)

Mortgage Rates Haven't Moved Much in 4 Weeks (A Good Thing)The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage nudged up to 3.56 percent this week from 3.53 percent the previous week, and that’s the biggest jump over the last lackluster four weeks of home-loan rates.
And that has helped spur home construction, resales and the overall housing market since rates remain close to their all-time lows. The 30-year rate hit its record low of 3.31 percent in November.
In meeting notes released this week from its last policy-setting meeting, the Federal Reserve rattled the financial markets by suggesting that its asset-buying programs to drive down interest rates and provide sufficient liquidity for lending may have an end-game strategy — but not anytime soon.
The Fed has been buying up about $85 billion per month in long-term Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.
The central bank has decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at zero (percent) to 0.25 percent as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent and inflation, between one and two years ahead, is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal.
“Mortgage rates have been relatively stable, hovering near record lows, for the past four weeks which is helping to spur new home construction,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.
Here is Freddie Mac’s rundown on mortgage rates for the week:
30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.56 percent, with an average 0.8 point for the week ending February 21, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 3.53 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.95 percent.
15-year fixed rate this week averaged 2.77 percent, with an average 0.8 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.19 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.64 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.80 percent.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.65 percent this week, with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.61 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.73 percent.

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