Thursday, November 19, 2009
by Broderick Perkins
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Deadline Newsroom - Like a limber limbo dancer dropping ever lower, mortgage interest rates on the 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) dipped to 4.83 percent the week ending November 19.
Last week, the 30-year FRM rate was 4.91 percent, compared to 6.04 percent a year ago, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
How low can they go?
The 15-year FRM's average is as low as it's been in 18 years, averaging 4.32 percent this week and down from an average 4.40 percent last week. The average 15-year rate was 5.73 percent a year ago, said Freddie Mac.
"Interest rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans fell for the third consecutive week to the lowest since the week ending May 21st, while 15-year fixed rates were the lowest since our records began in 1991," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.
Lower rates are music to the ears of refinancing homeowners who are switching to less risky fixed rates.
Low home prices, combined with lower rates, are sending more renters to rent-vs-buy calculators.
"For the fourth consecutive quarter, more than 95 percent of prime borrowers who originally had an ARM selected a conventional fixed rate mortgage in the third quarter of this year," Nothaft said.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) interest rate averaged 4.25 percent this week, down from 4.35 percent last week and 5.87 percent a year ago.
The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM came in at an average 4.35 percent, down from 4.47 percent last week and 5.29 percent a year ago.
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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist, parlayed 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service, the San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group, including DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site, and the Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop.
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National Offbeat News Examiner
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