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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