Fixed Mortgage Rates See Improvement from GSE Bailout

September 11, 2008 No Comments »

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As expected, fixed mortgage rates saw marked improvement this week after the Fannie and Freddie bailout restored (forced) confidence in the secondary market.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.93 percent during the week ending September 11, down from 6.35 percent a week earlier and 6.31 percent a year ago, according to mortgage financier Freddie Mac.

It was the biggest seven-day move in more than 28 years, according to USA Today.

The 15-year fixed slipped to 5.54 percent from 5.90 percent a week earlier, and is nearly half a point lower than where it stood a year ago at 5.97 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages were less affected by the bailout, with the average five-year ARM down just 10 basis points to 5.87 percent, but still better than the 6.17 percent average a year earlier.

The one-year ARM was the only loser of the bunch, climbing six basis points to 5.21 percent, but still beating its 5.66 percent average last year.

Freddie’s weekly survey, conducted since the 1970s, uses data from conforming mortgages with a loan-to-value of 80 percent.

Bankrate.com, which also conducts a weekly survey, said the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 6.15 percent from 6.55 percent a week earlier.

As I mentioned earlier this week, the lower mortgage rates likely won’t have much effect, as it was the tighter underwriting guidelines and unaffordable home prices staggering the market.

And as Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft pointed out, the monthly savings on a new $200,000 loan is just about $76.

(photo: wavingatyou)

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