Mortgage rates largely remained near historic lows from the week earlier, reflecting a sense of uncertainty that continues to persist among wary homebuyers.[IMAGE]
Finance Web site ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/ and mortgage giant ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ polled financial institutions and the like in their weekly surveys.
Bankrate.com denoted a new low for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which fell from 4.38 percent last week to crest at 4.33 percent this week. Freddie differed by few turns, signaling the loss of one percentage point this week for the 4.11-percent rate it recorded last week.
The finance Web site likewise saw few deviations for the 15-year loan, registering a drop from 3.58 percent last week to 3.57 percent this week. The GSE found rates for the fixed-rate mortgage staying the same this week from last week.
Commenting on the minimal change, ""Frank Nothaft"":http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, Freddie's VP and chief economist, said in a ""statement"":http://freddiemac.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=12329&item=76040 that[COLUMN_BREAK]
""[f]ixed mortgage rates followed other long-term interest rates and showed little change, on average, from the prior week. The latest monthly housing market indicators were mixed, with consumer confidence soft, house prices largely flat, and new home sales up from very low levels.""
He cited a ""Conference Board index"":http://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm that reported consumer confidence dipping to lows not seen since March 2009 this week and ""mixed news for home prices"":http://www.themreport.com/articles/home-prices-rise-for-some-still-fall-nationally-2011-10-25 alternately offered by the ""Federal Housing Finance Agency"":http://www.fhfa.gov/ and ""Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices/sp-case-shiller-home-price-indices/en/us/?indexId=spusa-cashpidff--p-us indices.
Bankrate.com referenced the Home Affordable Refinance Program in a ""separate statement"":http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=61502&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1622418&highlight by calling it ""a much-needed and long overdue enhancement"" that will allow homeowners to reap benefits from mortgage rates that remain historically low.
""At these low rates, there is an incentive for homeowners to refinance,"" it said.
For adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), Freddie saw the 5-year Treasury-indexed loan on the way up to 3.08 percent this week from 3.01 percent last week, still a fary cry from 3.41 percent seen over the same time last year. The GSE reported the 1-year ARM falling from 2.94 percent last week to 2.90 percent this week.
Bankrate.com meanwhile highlighted a fall from 3.24 percent last week to 3.22 percent this week for the 5-year and 1-year ARMs.
Earlier this week the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm fielded a ""4.9-percent uptick for mortgage application volume"":http://www.themreport.com/articles/mortgage-applications-jump-49-from-week-earlier-2011-10-26. Analysts drew attention again to the weak economy by framing a ""5.7-percent surge in home sales"":http://www.themreport.com/articles/new-home-sales-hit-57-september-stride-2011-10-26, as reported by the ""Commerce Department"":http://www.commerce.gov/, as historically low.