Fixed Mortgage Rates Slip Lower as Weak Housing Data Trumps Fed Action

Fixed Mortgage Rates Slip Lower as Weak Housing Data Trumps Fed ActionNever mind that the Federal Reserve just scaled back its bond buying program this week because weaker housing data had a bigger impact on keeping mortgage rates from moving higher.
Rates moved down again this week, according to Freddie Mac, with the 30-year fixed at 4.32 percent, from last week’s 4.39 percent.
Rates eased somewhat as reports emerged that new home sales fell 7 percent in December to a seasonally-adjusted pace of 414,000 units, below the consensus.
Morever, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city house price index declined 0.1 percent for November, the first decrease since November 2012.”
In tapering its bond purchases, the Fed made no changes to its other primary policy mandate: its pledge to keep interest rates low for some time to come.
This week’s decision indicates that it would take a serious threat to the U.S. economy before the Fed changes its mind on tapering down completely its long-standing asset purchases by the end of 2014.
Here is Freddie Mac’s overview of mortgage rates:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.32 percent, with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 30, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.39 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.53 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.40 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.81 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.12 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.55 percent this week, with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.54 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.59 percent.

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