The average interest rate for fixed rate mortgages has eased for the week ending July 18, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage interest rates. Rates had edged up to a full point higher this summer than they had been last summer.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.37 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending July 18, 2013, down from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.53 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.41 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.53 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.83 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.26 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.69 percent.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.66 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.69 percent.
“Fixed mortgage rates fell as Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Bernanke helped ease market concerns about the Fed reducing its bond purchases. During a question and answer session following a speech on July 10th, Chairman Bernanke indicated that a highly accommodative monetary policy is what’s needed in the U.S. economy,” according to Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist, Freddie Mac.
“Indications of a slowing in the economic recovery also placed downward pressure on mortgage rates, he continued. “Consumer sentiment fell to a three month low in July while retail sales in June grew by only 0.4 percent, which was half of the market consensus forecast. In addition, housing starts fell in June to the slowest pace since August 2012.”