Mortgage Rates Move Up, Down and Sideways

Mortgage rates for this week are a mixed bag of results.
Freddie Mac today released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending February 4 to show that rates moved in all different directions.
Here’s the breakdown:
*30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM): Averaged 4.81 percent, an increase from last week’s 4.80 percent. At this same time last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.01 percent. Its lowest average on record was 4.17 percent in November, 2010.
*15-year FRM: Averaged 4.08 percent this week, down from 4.09 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent. Its record low came in November as well, when it averaged 3.57 percent.
*5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): Averaged 3.69 percent, down from 3.70 percent last week. One year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.27 percent. The lowest the 5-year ARM has hit was 3.25 percent, and that occurred last month.
*1-year Treasury-indexed ARM: Did not move, averaging 3.26 percent this week, the same as last week. During the same week last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.22 percent.
“Mortgage rates held relatively stable this week on news that the economy improved and inflation remained in check at the end of 2010,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.
“In the fourth quarter, the economy grew at a 3.2 percent annualized rate, compared to 2.6 percent in the third quarter, and was led by a 4.4 percent gain in consumer spending. In addition, the core price index for consumer expenditures rose by an annualized rate of 0.4 percent, which was the smallest increase ever since records began in 1959.”
Nothaft also mentioned that, according to the National Association of Realtors, housing hit its most affordable point on record in the fourth quarter of 2010.