Mortgage Rates Sink to New Records Once Again

May 18, 2012

For the third-straight week, fixed-rate mortgages reached new record lows, pushing home affordability even higher for those who can qualify. 

"The European debt crisis overshadowed improving economic indicators for the U.S. and allowed Treasury bond yields and fixed mortgage rates to ease for another week,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in explaining why mortgage rates continue to inch down.

Here’s a closer look at how rates fared for the week ending May 17, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new record low of 3.79 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s previous record of 3.83 percent. Thirty-year mortgage rates have been below 4 percent since December. A year ago at this time, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.61 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: also dipped to new record lows this week, averaging 3.04 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s previous record of 3.05 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.80 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.83 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising slightly from last week’s 2.81 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.48 percent. 
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, also up slightly from last week’s 2.73 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.15 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac