Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac Weekly Survey: Rates Edge Higher

19 Feb

Mortgage rates edged higher for a second week, with Freddie Mac’s weekly survey showing that lenders were offering conventional 30-year loans at an average 3.76%, up from 3.69% last week.

This year’s low point came the first week of February, when Freddie’s widely watched survey showed the average rate for 30-year fixed loans had sunk to 3.59%.

The latest survey, released Thursday, pegged the average for a 15-year fixed home loan at 3.05%, up from 2.99%. The start rate for adjustable loans that are fixed for the first five years was unchanged at 2.97%.

The low rates have stoked the latest round of a series of refinance booms in recent years as homeowners seek to lock in cheap long-term funds.

No-cost loans, which don’t require borrowers to pay lender fees, discount points or charges for appraisals and title insurance, recently dropped to rates as low as 3.625% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, said Laguna Niguel loan broker Jeff Lazerson.

The rate has since risen to 4% for the no-cost mortgages but borrowers who pay all third-party charges plus a point — 1% of the loan amount — can still get a 30-year fixed loan at 3.625%, Lazerson said.

Freddie Mac asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to solid borrowers seeking mortgages up to $417,000 that conform to guidelines set by Freddie and Fannie Mae, the other mortgage finance giant.

The borrowers would have paid a little more than half of 1% of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the fixed-rate loans. Payments for such services as appraisals and title insurance are not included.

The survey provides a consistent gauge of mortgage trends, but actual rates may change rapidly and are influenced by many factors, including the credit scores, debt loads and downpayments of borrowers.

See the survey at this link:

http://freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/mortgage-rates-rise-for-second-consecutive-week-otcqb-fmcc-1176375

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New Rules For Mortgages Less Restrictive

15 May

Federal Regulators seem to be loosening up mortgage lending standards, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt made comments saying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should direct their focus toward making more credit available to homeowners—a reversal from previous directives to lessen their footprints in the mortgage market.

Six federal agencies, including the Federal Housing Finance Agency, are expected in the coming weeks to finalize rules for mortgages that are packaged into securities by private investors.

“Those rules largely abandon earlier proposals requiring larger down payments on mortgages in certain types of mortgage-backed securities,” WSJ said.  The rules also represent a shift from previous initiatives that emerged in the wake of the 2008 crisis, which pushed to restrict the the flow of “easy money” that ruled the bubble.

Critics of easing mortgage lending rules now, however, worry that regulators could be paving the way for another boom and bust.

“Do not confuse weakening underwriting standards and underpricing risk with helping people or promoting market efficiency,” said former FHFA Director Ed DeMarco in a speech this week during a banking conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

New Low For Mortgage Rates

2 Oct
A percent sign.

A percent sign. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Federal Reserve’s new stimulus has sent mortgage rates plummeting.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed new record lows in all categories except the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), which did show a decrease from the week before. The GSE reported that the 30-year fixed average fell to 3.40 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending September 27, down from 3.49 percent in the previous week’s survey.

The 15-year fixed also dropped, averaging 2.73 percent (0.6 point) – down from 2.77 percent.

The continuous drops add to an already amount of good news for the housing market.

“Fixed mortgage rates continued to decline this week, largely due to the Federal Reserve’s purchases of mortgage securities, and should support an already improving housing market,” said Frank Nothaft, VP chief economist for Freddie Mac. “For instance, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 1.2 percent over the 12 months ending in July, reflecting the largest annual increase since August 2010.”

Nothaft also pointed to new home sales, in particular the strong two-month pace set in July and August.

According to Bankrate’s weekly survey, the 30-year fixed average is down to 3.55 percent from 3.70 percent a week before. The 15-year fixed fell along with it, averaging 2.88 percent (from 2.95 percent previously). The 5/1 ARM also fell, but only slightly – it averaged 2.68 percent for the week, down from 2.69 percent a week ago.

Rates Hit Record Lows – Again

6 Jul

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey that came out July 5, rates have dropped again.  A 30-year fixed is at 3.62%, down from 3.66% last week. This time last year it stood at 4.60%.

15-year fixed rates are at 2.89%, compared with last week’s 2.94% and last year’s 3.75%.

Spending is trending up as a result.  Latest figures are from May, showing construction spending up 0.9% month-over-month and a jump of 7.0% from last year.  Private residential spending increased 3.0% month-over-month.

Freddie Mac: MORTGAGE RATES CONTINUE TO DROP

27 Dec

Mortgage interest rates continue to head south. Freddie Mac reported last Thursday that the 30-year fixed-mortgage rate as well as adjustable rate products all sank to new all-time record lows this week, while the 15-year fixed rate settled in to match its historic low.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.91 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending December 22, dropping below last week’s previous record low mark of 3.94 percent. The average 30-year rate is now nearly a full percentage point below its level this time last year of 4.81 percent.

“Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have been at or below 4 percent for the last eight weeks and now are almost 0.9 percentage points below where they were at the beginning of the year,” noted Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Nothaft says all those percentage basis points translate into $1,200 less a year on a $200,000 loan when you compare current rates versus borrowing costs 12 months ago.

The 15-year fixed rate matched last week’s all-time record low at 3.21 percent (0.8 point). A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was averaging 4.15 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also hit new all-time lows in Freddie Mac’s survey this week.

The GSE puts the average rate for a 5-year ARM at 2.85 percent (0.6 point) That’s down from 2.86 percent last week and 3.75 percent a year ago.

The 1-year ARM came in at 2.77 percent (0.6 point) this week, down from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM was averaging 3.40 percent.

Nothaft says the greater homebuyer affordability afforded by today’s rock-bottom interest rates helped push existing home sales higher for the second consecutive month in November to an annualized pace of 4.42 million, the most since January.

Freddie’s chief economist also points to positive indicators in the new home sector, with construction of single-family showing a back-to-back monthly gain in November, with the largest increase since June, and homebuilder confidence in December rising to its highest reading since May 2010.