Mortgage interest rates for long-term and adjustable-rate products were down on the most recent Freddie Mac survey released Thursday, continuing the downward trend manifested for most of calendar year 2016. Experts attributed this to easing global concerns, as well as encouraging home sales statistics from January 2016.
30-year fixed rate mortgages, which were at 3.65 percent last week, dropped slightly, easing by three basis points to 3.62 percent for the week ended February 25, 2016. One year ago, 30-year FRMs averaged 3.80 percent, or 18 hundredths of a percentage point higher. 15-year FRMs were at 2.93 percent this week, a slight two-basis point downtick from last week’s 2.95 percent, and 14 basis points lower than the year-ago figure of 3.07 percent. Last week, long-term mortgage interest rates didn’t move, following six consecutive weeks of declines.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages took the biggest fall this week, while remaining relatively flat. Rates for 5-year ARMs edged down from 2.85 percent to 2.79 percent. Last year, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.99 percent.
In his weekly statement, Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti attributed this week’s declines to recent figures released by the National Association of Realtors, which showed existing home sales improving considerably last month.
“Yields on the 10-year Treasury continued their downward trend this week after a small rally the previous two weeks. The 30-year mortgage responded, falling 3 basis points to 3.62 percent,” said Becketti. “Since the beginning of 2016, 30-year rates have fallen almost 40 basis points helping housing markets sustain their momentum into this year. Earlier this week, the National Association of Realtors announced existing home-sales were up 4 percent month-over-month in January and up 11 percent from last year.”