Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Conforming Mortgage Rates Fall, Jumbo Spread at Record

by Bill McBride on 12/24/2008 01:01:00 PM

Freddie Mac reported Long-Term Rates Fall for Eight Consecutive Week Setting Another New Low

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.14 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending December 24, 2008, down from last week when it averaged 5.19 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.17 percent. The 30-year FRM has not been lower since Freddie Mac started the Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 1971.
The MBA reported: Near Record Low Mortgage Rates Boost Mortgage Applications in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.04 percent from 5.18 percent, with points increasing to 1.17 from 1.13 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is the lowest recorded in the survey since the record low of 4.99 percent for the week ending June 13, 2003.
Note the surge in refinance applications too!

However, Bloomberg reports: Jumbo Mortgage Shoppers Get Little Relief From Rates
Jumbo mortgage shoppers in the most expensive U.S. housing markets such as New York and San Francisco aren’t getting much relief from lower borrowing costs.

The average 30-year fixed rate for home loans of more than $729,750 remains almost 2 percentage points above conforming rates and the spread between them may set a record this month, according to financial data firm BanxQuote.
...
The difference between the two averaged 2.13 percentage points in December, 10 times the spread from 2000 to 2006 and above last month’s 1.95 percentage points that was the highest on record.
It's jumbos rates that matter for most of California and other higher priced markets.