Mortgage Rates End Year “Near Record Lows”

Fixed-rate mortgages ended the year by hovering near record-breaking lows and keeping home buyer affordability high, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent for 2012, the lowest annual average in at least 65 years,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages were nearly 0.6 percentage points below that of the beginning of the year, which translates into an interest payment savings of nearly $98,600 over the life of a $200,000 loan. Moreover, opting for a 15-year fixed mortgage at today’s rates, a home owner could save an additional $138,400 in interest payments.”

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages for mortgages for the week ending Dec. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 3.37 percent average. The record low for 30-year mortgages is 3.31 percent, which was set in November. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.95 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.65 percent, with an average 0.7 point, holding the same average as last week. The record low for 15-year mortgages is 2.63 percent, also set in November. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.24 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.70 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 2.71 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.88 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac