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Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly, Remain Near Record Lows

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mortgage_rate_scaleFreddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates easing slightly and remaining near record lows to keep homebuyer affordability high and attractive to those looking to refinance.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 13, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.34 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent.

Additionally, the 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.66 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.67 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.21 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.70 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.69 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.86 percent.

Results show that the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.55. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.81 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

“Mortgage rates held relatively steady following the November employment report. Although 146,000 jobs were created, above the market consensus forecast of 85,000, revisions subtracted 49,000 workers over the September and October period,” says

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The unemployment rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. However, in its December 12 monetary policy statement, the Federal Reserve (Fed) noted that this rate remains elevated and modified the statement to tie any increases to its target rate to the unemployment rate falling below 6.5 percent. The latest Fed central-tendency forecast is for unemployment to be between 7.4 and 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and between 6.8 and 7.3 percent by late 2014.”

For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com.

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