Fixed mortgage rates finishing the year near their all-time historic lows helping to keep homebuyer affordability high. Averaging 3.95 percent, the 30-year fixed has been at or below 4 percent for the past nine consecutive weeks and only twice in 2011 did it average above 5 percent.
Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 29, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 3.91 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.86 percent.
Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, reports, “Mortgage rates ended the year hovering near historic lows in an already affordable housing market. For instance, the seasonally-adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-City Composite home price index in October was the lowest seen since March 2003. The largest hit areas were Las Vegas with the lowest reading since January 1997 and Atlanta which was since June 1998. It’s not surprising then that over 5 percent of households in December plan to purchase a home over the next six months, the highest share since May, according to The Conference Board.”
Primary Mortgage Market Survey [Freddie Mac]