Freddie Mac: Little Change In Interest Rates

Mortgage rates remained basically the same over the last week, averaging 3.11%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.11%, up only a smidge from last week’s 3.10%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.71%

“Mortgage rates continue to remain stable notwithstanding volatility in the financial markets,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. 

“The consistency of rates in the face of changes in the economy is primarily due to the evolution of the pandemic, which lingers and continues to pose uncertainty. This low mortgage rate environment offers favorable conditions for refinancing.”

The emerging Omicron variant of Covid-19 has dampened hopes of normalcy returning, and many in the industry are wondering how it will impact the housing market. When investors are spooked, they put their money in safe havens such as bonds and treasuries. Mortgage interest rates tend to deflate when bond prices are high.

But analysts are hopeful Omicron will have a mild impact on markets.

“It is unlikely that rates will move down any further due to the new Omicron variant,” Shmuel Shayowitz, Approved Funding president and chief lending officer, told The Street.

“While there is certainly a concern especially with what’s going on in other countries, right now bond analysts are optimistically cautious and do not think with the information that we are (seeing) now that it will have any significant impact on markets,” he told writer Michael Tedder.

Additional findings from Thursday’s report:

  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.39% with an average 0.6 point, a drop from last week when it averaged 2.42%.
  • A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.26%.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.49% with an average 0.3 point, an increase from last week’s 2.47%. 
  • A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.86%.