Average fixed mortgage rates fall for the second straight week, bringing them to a six-week low—and easing affordability conditions slightly as the homebuying season gets under way.
Per Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) this week averaged a rate of 4.27 percent (0.7 point), down from 4.34 percent last week. A year ago, the 30-year FRM sat at 3.41 percent.
At the same time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.33 percent (0.6 point), down from an average 3.38 percent.
Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said the latest decline fits with a disappointing—though not dismal—construction report showing homebuilding rising at a rate of 2.8 percent in March.
“Also, permits fell 2.4 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000, which followed a slight downward revision of 4,000 permits in February,” Nothaft said.
Numbers were mixed in adjustable rates. According to Freddie Mac, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.03 percent (0.5 point), down from 3.09 percent in the prior week, while the 1-year ARM averaged 2.44 percent, up a few basis points.
“Mortgage rates fall for the second week in a row amid mixed economic news abroad and in the United States,” said Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst for the finance site. “Despite some recent economic news, the United States is still perceived by investors as one of the safest places to park their money.”