Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates on Thursday morning, showing average mortgage rates around the country dropping nearly across the board amid signs of a weakening economic recovery.
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) dropped 10 basis points over the past week, falling to 4.41%. That's about where they were Dec. 12. Fifteen-year FRMs likewise headed downward, off 11 b.p. at 3.45%. A year ago, 30-year FRMs averaged 3.38% and 15-year FRMs averaged 2.66%.
Among adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) over the past week, paths diverged. 5/1 ARMs followed the downwards trend of FRMs, falling five basis points to land at 3.10%. 1-year ARMs, in contrast, remained stuck at 2.56% for the fourth week in a row. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.67% and 1-year ARMs averaged 2.57%.
Commenting on the results in a statement, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft attributed the falling rates to "signs of a weakening economic recovery. The economy added 74,000 jobs in December, less than the market consensus forecast." Retail sales growth in December was also a bit light, Nothaft noted. On the bright side, the national unemployment rate did decline to 6.7%. Nothaft noted this is the lowest since October 2008.