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All Time Lows for Fixed Rates

Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage 4.32%

Oct. 1, 2010

By SAM GARCIA Mortgage Daily


A new 15-year fixed-rate record was set, while the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage matched its previous low. Still, fewer homeowners are taking advantage of the record-low rates.

Falling to 4.32 percent, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage again reached the lowest level ever recorded by Freddie Mac. The 30-year was 4.37 percent last week and 4.94 percent a year ago.

In the Mortgage Market Index report for the week ended Sept. 29, the jumbo 30-year declined from 5.33 percent last week to 5.23 percent Wednesday. At the same time, loans that were less than the jumbo amount -- $417,001 -- improved only 0.06 percent -- leaving jumbo mortgages priced more competitively this week.

Based on 63 percent of the panelists surveyed by Bankrate.com for the week Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, mortgage rates are likely to stay within 0.02 percent of their current levels for the next week or so. An increase was forecasted by 21 percent of the panelists, and a decline was predicted by the rest.

It was a new record low for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, which Freddie reported at 3.75 percent. The 15-year was 3.82 percent seven days earlier.

Falling confidence in the economy among businesses and consumers drove the decline in fixed mortgage rates this week, Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie, said in the report.

According to Freddie's survey, the one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.48 percent -- slightly higher than last week.

Even though fixed rates were unmoved last week as the one-year ARM was 0.06 percent higher, the share of consumers who opted for an ARM rose to 6.0 percent from 5.9 percent a week earlier in the Mortgage Bankers Association's survey for the week ended Sept. 24.

Record rates weren't enough to rally prospective borrowers, with the Mortech-Mortgage Daily Mortgage Market Index falling to 284 from 295 last week. The index reflects new loan activity by mortgage brokers.

The Mortech-Mortgage Daily report indicated that the average U.S. loan amount edged up to $212,512 from $212,052. The highest average was Washington, D.C.'s, $276,346, and the lowest average was $146,488 in Nebraska.

Around 58 percent of activity in the Mortgage Market Index report was prospective borrowers seeking to refinance their existing mortgages. Last week, 60 percent were refinancing.

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