Mortgage rates fall ahead of spring home-buying season


(Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters)

Mortgage rates seem to be doing their part to spur the spring home-buying season, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

April 10 mortgage chart

After two weeks of increases, the 30-year fixed-rate average fell back to 4.34 percent with an average 0.7 point. It was 4.41 percent a week ago and 3.43 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average also edged down, falling to 3.38 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 3.47 percent a week ago and 2.65 percent a year ago.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages declined as well. The five-year ARM average dropped to 3.09 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.12 percent a week ago and 2.62 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average sank to its lowest level of the year, sliding down to 2.41 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.45 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates eased a bit following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“Also, the economy added 192,000 jobs in March, which was below the market consensus forecast but followed an upward revision of 22,000 jobs in February. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent.”

Mortgage applications continued to decline, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, fell 1.6 percent. The Refinance index dropped 5 percent, while the Purchase Index showed an uptick for the third week in a row, increasing 3 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity waned for the ninth week in a row. Refinances accounted for 51 percent of all applications, their lowest level since July 2009.

Twitter: @KathyOrtonWP, @PostRealEstate

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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