Rates Down, Refinancing Up

Mortgage rates fell the second straight week and some homeowners are taking advantage.
Freddie Mac released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending January 13 to show:
Chicago real estate mortgage*30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM): Averaged 4.71 percent, down from 4.77 percent last week and from 5.06 percent at the same time last year.
*15-year FRM: Averaged 4.08 percent, down from 4.13 percent last week and 4.45 percent last year.
*5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): Averaged 3.72 percent, down from 3.75 last week and 4.32 a year ago.
*1-year Treasury-indexed ARM: Averaged 3.23 percent, down from 3.24  percent last week and 4.39 last year.
“Bond yields drifted lower following the release of the December employment report, which was weaker than the market consensus forecast and implied that the labor market is still in a sluggish recovery,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. “Fixed mortgage rates followed bond yields lower for a second consecutive week, bringing them to a four-week low.”
Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 7 to show that the Market Index had increased 2.2 percent from the previous week.
That includes the measure of mortgage loan applications for :
*Purchases: Decreased 3.7 percent from the week prior
*Refinances: Increased 4.9 percent from the previous week
“In its January 12th regional economic review, the Federal Reserve noted that activity in residential real estate and new home construction remained slow over the last two months of 2010 due to concerns about the pace of economic recovery, especially in employment,” Nothaft said. “In addition, the outlooks for residential real estate were mixed, with contacts in most Districts described as expecting continued weak conditions.”
Let’s hope for the best.