No (Economic) News Is Good News (for Mortgage Rates)

Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates on Thursday morning, showing an ever-so-slight decline in the interest banks are charging on their home loans this week, as opposed to last week.

Both 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) and 15-year FRMs got cheaper over the past seven days, with 30-year FRMs slipping a single basis point to 4.20% interest, and 15-year FRMs shedding three b.p. to reach 3.29%. One year ago, 30-year FRMs cost 3.51%, and 15-years 2.69%.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) likewise declined in price, falling four basis points to 3.01%. 1-year ARMs were unchanged at 2.43%. A year ago, 5/1 ARMs were at 2.62%, and 1-year ARMs at 2.55%.

Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft  noted in a statement that the past week had been "light" on substantive economic reports out of the government. That may explain why mortgage rates moved so little. Nothaft added that: "These lower than expected rates are welcome news with the spring home buying season under way and may even provide those who haven't already refinanced possibly a reason to take another look."


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