Long-Term Mortgage Rates Rise For Second Consecutive Week
March 15, 2002
1-Year ARM Rate Barely Changed From Previous Week
McLean, VA ? In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 7.08 percent, with an average 0.7 point, for the week ending March 15, 2002, up from 6.87 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.96 percent.
The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 6.59 percent, with an average 0.7 point, also higher than last week's average of 6.37 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.54 percent.
One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.08 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, almost unchanged from last week's average of 5.07 percent. This time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 6.29 percent.
(Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.)
"Mortgage interest rates were up this week on news that February employment figures suggested an economic upturn," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "That news, however, puts a bit of upward pressure on long-term mortgage rates.
"Shorter-term mortgage rates, on the other hand, remained almost unchanged, creating a greater incentive for homebuyers to choose 1-year ARMs. The difference between 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 1-year ARMs rose to 2 percentage points, the widest spread this year. Although presently the ARM share of the market is only about 15 percent of applications, if long-term rates continue to rise, so will the share of ARMs," added Nothaft.
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Source: Freddie Mac