Mortgage Rates Bring Out Home Buyers

As the economy struggles, the real estate market struggles, which brings down mortgage rates, which is finally spurring housing activity.
percent sign with a house pulling down one side and a percent sign on the otherAccording to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending April 5:
*30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM): Averaged 3.98 percent, down from last week when it averaged 3.99 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.87 percent.
*15-year FRM: Averaged 3.21 percent, down from last week’s average of 3.23 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
*5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): Averaged 2.86 percent, down from last week’s 2.90 percent. Last year, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.72 percent.
*1-year Treasury-indexed ARM: Averaged 2.78 percent, the same as last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.22 percent.
“Average weekly mortgage rates were little changed this week amid mixed signals on the health of the economy,”said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.
The economy is still struggling, but the low mortgage rates are spurring activity.
According to the Mortgage Banker’s Association, mortgage applications for the week ending March 30 rose 4.8 percent from the previous week. That not only included a rise in the Refinance Index of 4.0 percent, its first weekly increase in seven weeks, it also included a hike of 7.2 percent in the Purchase Index.
“Applications to buy a home picked up last week, and are running more than two percent above the level reported at this time last year,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Home purchase applications for conventional loans are now about 10 percent above last year’s level.”