McLean, VA –
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.76 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 17, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.88 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.96 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.33 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.57 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.73 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.09 percent.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.17 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.12 percent.
Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, reports, "With the crisis in Japan, investors rushed to buy the security of U.S. Treasury bonds , which lowered its yields and other interest rates as well. This allowed fixed mortgage rates to drift lower this week."
"In aggregate, families have been strengthening their balance sheets. In the fourth quarter of 2010, household net worth rose by $2.1 trillion, boosted by gains in the stock market. This helped lower their financial obligation ratio (debt payments relative to disposable income) to the lowest level since the first quarter of 1995."