The Washington Post

Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates once again showed almost no movement this week, according to the latest data released by Freddie Mac.

Since rising above the 3.5 percent mark three weeks ago, the 30-year fixed-rate average has stalled. It has held steady at 3.53 percent with an average 0.8 point for the past three weeks. It was 3.87 percent a year ago

The 15-year fixed-rate average also remained the same this week, holding at 2.77 percent with an average 0.8 point. It was 3.16 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate has not been above 3 percent since May 24.

The only rates to show any movement were the hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, which increased slightly this week. The five-year ARM edged up to 2.64 percent with an average 0.6 point. The one-year ARM climbed to 2.61 percent with an average 0.3 point.

“Mortgage rates remain near record lows and continue to support housing demand, translating into a pickup in home prices in most markets,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. “The median sales price of existing homes rose 10 percent between fourth quarter 2011 and 2012, the largest year-over-year gain in seven years. Among large metropolitan areas, 88 percent saw positive annual increases in the fourth quarter, compared to 81 percent in the third quarter and 75 percent in the second.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications declined, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, fell 6.4 percent from the previous week. The Refinance Index was down 6 percent, while the Purchase Index decreased 10 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged. It accounted for 78 percent of total applications.

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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