Mortgage Rates Inch Up After Record Lows

February 24, 2012

For the first time in three weeks, fixed mortgages rate moved up from their all-time lows, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

One of the factors leading to higher fixed mortgage rates this week was signs of a gradually improving housing market, Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft says. For example, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this week that seriously delinquent loans — those 90 days or more past due — and the inventory of foreclosures dropped 5.3 percent by the end of 2011, marking the lowest quarterly share since the beginning of 2009. Also, the National Association of REALTORS® reported this week that existing-home sales in January were at their strongest pace since May 2010. 

Here’s a closer look at how rates fared for the week ending Feb. 23:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.95 percent, with an average 0.8 point, up slightly from last week’s all-time low of 3.87 percent. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.95 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.19 percent, with an average 0.8 point, inching up from last week’s 3.16 percent average. Last year, 15-year rates averaged 4.22 percent at this time. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.80 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 2.82 percent average. Last year, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.80 percent at this time. 
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.73 percent, with an average 0.6 point, also dropping from last week’s 2.84 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.40 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac