Home Loan Interest Rates Ease Slightly

Prospective homebuyers
Home loan interest rates eased slightly but remained near record lows according to Freddie Mac’s recent survey results.

Freddie Mac, a provider of stability and liquidity for the United States’ residential mortgage markets, conducts surveys weekly to assess four types of home loan interest rates.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 13, 2012. The rate is down from last week when it averaged 3.34 percent. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.66 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s average of 2.67 percent. At this time last year, the 15-year fixed home loan interest rate averaged 3.21 percent.

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

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week’s average of 2.55 percent. Last year at this time, the 1-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.81 percent.

This week, the home loan interest rates remained low and continued to attract homeowners looking to refinance.

“Mortgage rates held relatively steady following the November employment report,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a press release. “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. The unemployment rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 percent.”

The Federal Reserve central-tendency forecast for unemployment is predicted to be between 7.4 and 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. By late 2014, the unemployment rate is set to be between 6.8 and 7.3 percent.