Mortgage Rates Stay Above 5 Percent

April 29, 2010 - 11:59 AM
Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages slipped this week, but stayed above 5 percent for the fifth straight week, Freddie Mac said Thursday.
McLean, Va. (AP) - Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages slipped this week, but stayed above 5 percent for the fifth straight week, Freddie Mac said Thursday.
 
The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.06 percent this week, down a tick from 5.07 percent last week. A year ago, 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.84 percent, Freddie Mac said.
 
Rates had dropped to a record low of 4.71 percent in December, pushed down by a campaign by the Federal Reserve to reduce borrowing costs for consumers. The program ended at the end of March, but the Fed left the door open to reviving the program if the economy weakens.
 
The last time rates for 30-year fixed mortgages averaged less than 5 percent was the week of March 25, when they were 4.99 percent.
 
"These low rates have been helping to moderate house price declines over the course of the year," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
 
Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day, often tracking the interest rate paid on long-term Treasury bonds.
 
This week, the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.39 percent, unchanged from last week.
 
Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4 percent, down from 4.03 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.25 percent from 4.22 percent.
 
The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.
 
The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac's survey averaged 0.7 of a point for 30-year and 15-year loans, 0.6 of a point for 5-year loans, and 0.5 of a point for 1-year loans.