Weekly mortgage rates, monitored by Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), decreased to 5.12 percent for the week ending August 20, 2009. This is the lowest level seen in three months. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage average was down 17 basis points from last week’s 5.29 percent, and still well below last year when the rates were around 6.52 percent. 15 year fixed rate mortgages also decreased from last week’s 4.68 percent to 4.56 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.57 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.75 percent. A year ago, the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 5.99 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.69 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.72 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.29 percent.
"U.S. Treasury bond yields fell nearly a quarter of a percentage point over the week, and other long-term yields followed suit," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "Interest rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to the lowest level since the end of May, while initial rates on 5/1 hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages declined to levels not seen since January 2005. "Low mortgage rates are helping to reinforce the housing market. New construction on one-family homes rose for the fifth consecutive month in July to an annualized pace of almost 500,000 homes, the most since October 2008. In addition, homebuilder views of housing market conditions for the remainder of the year rose for the second month in a row in August to the most positive reading since June 2008, according to the National Association of Home Builders."by Staff Writer