Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates on Thursday morning, reflecting continued declines in the cost of buying a home -- nearly across the board.

Both 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) and 15-year FRMs got cheaper over the past seven days, with 30-year FRMs declining seven basis points to 4.27%, and 15-year FRMs falling five b.p. to 3.33%. One year ago, 30-year FRMs averaged 3.41%, and 15-year mortgage averaged 2.64%.

5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) also got cheaper over the past week, shedding six basis points to fall to 3.03%. The outlier here is 1-year ARMs, which appreciated by three basis points, rising to 2.44% over the past week. A year ago, 5/1 ARMs cost 2.60%; 1-year ARMs 2.63%.

Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft noted crosscurrents in the housing market that may be affecting rate movements. Housing starts increased 2.8% in March, Nothaft noted in a statement, but housing permits, an even more advanced indicator of housing market strength, declined 2.4%. February's housing permit number was also revised downward.


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