Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates showed little change this week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate average was unchanged from the previous week, remaining at 3.55 percent. A year ago at this time, it was 4.09 percent. The 30-year average has stayed below 4 percent for all but one week this year.

The 15-year fixed-rate average fell slightly, down to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent a week ago. Last year at this time, it was 3.30 percent. The 15-year average has been below 3 percent since the end of May.

Hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages also held steady. The five-year ARM edged down to 2.72 percent from 2.75 percent a week ago. It was 2.99 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM was unchanged at 2.61 percent. It was 2.81 percent a year ago.

“Despite a lackluster August employment report, Treasury bond yields and mortgage rates were little changed this week with the financial markets speculating on further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications continued their inverse relationship to rates. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 11.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.

The Refinance Index increased 12 percent, while the Purchase Index increased 8 percent. Refinancing continued to compose the largest share of mortgage activity, accounting for 80 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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