Thursday, November 29, 2012

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows

by Calculated Risk on 11/29/2012 05:05:00 PM

From Freddie Mac today: Mortgage Rates Virtually Unchanged

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates virtually unchanged and remaining near their record lows ...

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending November 29, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.31 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.00 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged 2.64 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.30 percent.
Mortgage rates and refinance activity Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the MBA's refinance index (monthly average) and the the 30 year fixed rate mortgage interest rate from the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.
The Freddie Mac survey started in 1971 and mortgage rates are currently near the record low for the last 40 years.

It usually takes around a 50 bps decline from the previous mortgage rate low to get a significant refinance boom, and refinance activity has picked up.

There has also been an increase in refinance activity due to HARP.

Mortgage rates and 10 year Treasury YieldHere is an update to an old graph - by request - that shows the relationship between the 10 year Treasury Yield and 30 year mortgage rates.

The y-intercept is around 2.6%, so if the 10 year Treasury yield falls to zero, 30 year mortgage rates would still be around 2.6% (using this fit).

Currently the 10 year Treasury yield is 1.62% and 30 year mortgage rates are at 3.32%.

Freddie Mac Mortgage Rate SurveyThe third graph shows the 15 and 30 year fixed rates from the Freddie Mac survey since the Primary Mortgage Market Survey® started in 1971 (15 year in 1991).

Note: Mortgage rates were at or below 5% back in the 1950s.