Sluggish Economy Pushes Mortgage Rates Lower

The average for fixed-rate mortgages fell this week on signs of a softening economy, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market report.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, attributes the lower rates to a sluggish economy that added 74,000 jobs in December, which was less than the market consensus forecast. The unemployment rate remains high at 6.7 percent — but still it’s at its lowest level since October 2008, he notes.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Jan. 16:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.41 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 4.51 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.38 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.45 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 3.56 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.66 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.10 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.15 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.67 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac