Rates Stay Low, It Could be That Way for a Long Time

Mortgage bankers, on average, were offering 30-year fixed-rate loans at 3.4% for the week ending Nov. 8, a slight increase from the prior period, according to new figures compiled by Freddie Mac. Other rates were mixed.

The average 15-year FRM dropped one basis point during the week, to 2.69%.

The rate for a five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM, at 2.73%, also had fallen one basis point, but the average rate for a one-year Treasury ARM was up one basis point at 2.59%.

Average fees were 0.7 of a point for FRMs, 0.6 of a point for five-year Treasury hybrids, and 0.4 of a point for one-year Treasury ARMs.

Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft, in his weekly report, attributed the mixed-rate movements to a recent above-consensus employment report, an upward revision in the prior two months of jobs data, and stability in the work force.

There also has been downward pressure on rates attributed to various factors, including Hurricane Sandy, the presidential election and concern about the United States’ fiscal cliff.

Although capital markets were rebounding a bit at deadline there had been notable drops the day before. On Wednesday, the long-term rate-indicative 10-year Treasury yield had fallen to 1.6% from above 1.7% the day before, when the Dow dropped 300 points.

Rates are still near record lows and down from a year ago when these weekly averages were recorded: 3.99% for a 30-year FRM, 3.3% for a 15-year loan, 2.98% for a five-year Treasury hybrid and 2.95% for a one-year Treasury ARM.