Freddie Mac's First Mortgage Snapshot of 2013 Shows Rates Still Near Lows

Freddie Mac released its first weekly update of the new year on national mortgage rates this morning, showing fixed mortgage rates continuing to hover near their all-time record lows.

Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages (FRM) currently average 3.34%, down a single basis point from last week's 3.35%, but flat against the rates being quoted at the beginning of December. Ffiteen-year FRMs cost 2.64%, also down one basis point from last week, and identical to where they were at the end of November.

Among adjustable rate mortgages, 5/1 ARMs are more expensive by one basis point at 2.71%, while one-year ARMs are also up a single basis point at 2.57%.

Of the four, 15-year FRMs continue to appear to offer the best bargain, having fallen 18% since this time, last year. In Freddie's Jan. 5, 2012, update, that particular flavor of mortgage cost 3.23%, or about 22% more than it costs today.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist  at Freddie Mac, was quoted as saying: "Mortgage rates started the year near record lows which should continue to aid the ongoing housing recovery. New home sales rose in November to a two-year high and were up 15.3% from the previous November. Similarly, pending sales on existing homes increased for the third month in November to the strongest pace since April 2010."

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