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30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Hits Record Low

Freddie Mac announced that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) has reached its lowest rate since the government-sponsored enterprise began publishing its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in 1971.

For the week ending Nov. 5, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.78% with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.81%. One year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.69%.

“Mortgage rates hit another record low, the twelfth time this year, due to economic and political ambiguity,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Despite the uncertainty that we’ve all experienced this year, the housing market, buoyed by low rates, continues to be a bright spot.”

Freddie Mac also reported the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.32% an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. One year earlier, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.13%

Furthermore, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.89% with an average 0.3 point, a scant uptick from last week when it averaged 2.88%. Last year at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.39%

Freddie Mac’s PMMS focuses on conventional, conforming, fully-amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20% percent down and have excellent credit.

Industry reaction to Freddie Mac’s rate news was mixed.

“Interest rates held steady this week because of uncertainty around the election results,” said George Ratiu, Senior Economist at Realtor.com. “With a rising second wave of COVID cases, the challenge of social distancing continues to drive peoples’ quest for a housing solution. Demand for homes remains strong in early November, a surprising shift from historical trends.

“However,” Ratiu continued, “the lack of available homes is pushing listing prices considerably higher than a year ago. The steep price gains are placing affordability front-and-center. For buyers looking to purchase the median-priced home this month, the monthly mortgage payment will be just $2 less than it would have been last year, for a total savings of about $24 per year.”

“Low interest rates have driven homeowners to refinance in record numbers, with 2020 refinance volume exceeding $1 trillion and totaling more than the volume of 2018 and 2019 combined," said Jonathan Glowacki, principal at Milliman Inc, a Seattle-based global consulting and actuarial firm. “That, coupled with home price growth, has resulted in an improvement in mortgage default risk in Q2, despite the economic stressors from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

About Author: Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire.

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