30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates unchanged, 15-year fixed-rate falls to new low

The 30-year fixed-rate average mortgage rate held steady this week, but the 15-year fixed-rate average fell to a new low, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average of 3.66 percent matched its record low from a week ago. It was 4.51 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average dropped to 2.94 percent, down from 2.95 percent last week. It was 3.69 percent last year.

The hybrid adjustable rate mortgages remained below 3 percent. The five-year ARM was 2.79 percent, up slightly from 2.77 percent last week. A year ago, it was 3.22 percent.

The one-year ARM remained unchanged from last week at 2.74 percent, down from 2.97 percent a year ago.

“Mortgage rates were virtually unchanged this week hovering at or near record lows and should further help to support a recovering housing market,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, in a statement.

“Both the [Standard & Poor’s]/Case-Shiller 20-city composite and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s house price indexes showed over a 0.5 percent monthly increase in April. Meanwhile, pending existing home sales rebounded in May by 5.9 percent to match a two year high and new home sales jumped 7.6 percent to its fastest pace since April 2010.”

Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday that the number of applications for mortgages fell for the second week in a row.

The Market Composite Index, which measures loan application volume, declined 7.1 percent and the Refinance Index tumbled 8 percent from the previous week.

“Refinance volume fell last week due largely to a fall-off in refinance applications for government loans, which had more than doubled the prior week,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice present of research adn economics, in a statement.

“The large swings in activity were due to the implementation of FHA’s new premiums on streamline refinances, and borrowers timing their applications to lower their premiums.”

The refinance activity continued to account for the largest portion but was down to 79 percent of total applications from 80 percent a week ago.

Related: Pending home sales match two-year high

Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.

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