Mortgage rates are lower than they were 12 months ago


(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

For the first time in a year, fixed mortgage are lower than they were 12 months ago, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Mortgage chart for June 26

The 30-year fixed-rate average dropped to 4.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point. It was down from 4.17 percent a week ago and from 4.46 percent a year ago.

Although it is not at its lowest point this year – it was 4.12 percent late last month — this is the first time since June 2013 that the 30-year fixed rate is lower than it was 12 months ago. Last year at this time, rates surged above 4 percent for the first time since 2011 over concerns about the Federal Reserve tapering its bond-buying program. The 30-year fixed rate has come down 39 basis points since January.

The 15-year fixed-rate average fell to 3.22 percent, with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.3 percent a week ago and 3.5 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate has come down 33 basis points since January.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages also tumbled. The five-year ARM average slipped to 2.98 percent with an average 0.3 point. It was 3 percent a week ago and 3.08 percent a year ago. It is just the fourth time this year the five-year ARM has been below 3 percent.

The one-year ARM average decreased to 2.4 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.41 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were down following the release of first quarter real GDP final estimate, which fell at a 2.9 percent annualized rate, a steeper than expected decline and the worst reading since the first quarter of 2009,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“Also, the seasonally-adjusted [Standard & Poor’s]/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index was up only 0.2 percent in April from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, prices remained strong in April up 10.8 percent, but slower than the 12.3 percent in March.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications waned last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, fell 1 percent. The refinance index and purchase index each dropped 1 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 52 percent of all 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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