Mortgage Rates: The Record That Keeps on Breaking

July 20, 2012

The streak continues with average 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages taking yet another dip into record territory this week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey. 

"With little signs of inflation and the Federal Reserve's ‘Operation Twist’ keeping U.S. Treasury bond yields in check, fixed mortgage rates are remaining low and helping to stir the housing market,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

According to Freddie Mac, fixed mortgage rates will likely remain at — or near — their all-time lows in the near future. The low rates will fuel “housing demand with a continued pick-up in housing starts, home sales, and even house prices in many markets,” according to Freddie Mac’s July U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.

Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week ending July 19: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new record low of 3.53 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s previous record low of 3.56 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 4 percent for every week this year except for one. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.52 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new record low of 2.83 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s previous all-time low of 2.86 percent. For eight consecutive weeks, 15-year mortgages have been below 3 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year mortgages averaged 3.66 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged a new record as well this week at 2.69 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.74 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.27 percent. 
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.69 percent, with an average 0.4 point, holding steady from last week’s average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.97 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac