Mortgage rates pulled back slightly again this week, responding to what little major economic developments there were.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year average fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) eased to 4.20 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending May 15, a drop of just 1 basis point from the last survey. It was the third straight week of declines, Freddie Mac reported, bring the 30-year fixed average to a six-month low.
At the same time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.29 percent (0.6 point) this week, dropping from 3.32 percent.
On the adjustable rates side, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent (0.4 point), down from 3.05 percent, while the 1-year ARM was unchanged at 2.43 percent (0.5 point).
“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “These lower than expected rates are welcome news with the spring home buying season underway and may even provide those who haven't already refinanced possibly a reason to take another look.”
Bankrate.com’s national survey also saw declines in all categories. In its weekly release, the finance site recorded the 30-year fixed at 4.33 percent and the 15-year fixed at 3.42 percent, each down a few basis points. The 5/1 ARM, meanwhile, ticked down to 3.31 percent.
Even with the recent downward trend, the majority of analysts—62 percent—polled in Bankrate’s trend survey predict rates will remain more or less where they are over the coming week. However, a quarter of those surveyed expect a bump upward, including senior mortgage reporter Polyana da Costa, who reasoned, “Rates have dropped consecutively for three weeks. This is not sustainable. Even if we get more bad economic news rates should trickle up next week.”