Average mortgage rates hold steady, homebuyers take advantage

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Mortgage rates held steady this week, remaining near their lowest levels in more than a month, according to Freddie Mac.

30-Year FRM 15-Year FRM 5/1-Year ARM
Average Rates 4.81% 4.25% 4.12%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.4 0.3
Margin N/A N/A 2.77

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81% for the week ending Nov. 29, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.9%.

"Mortgage rates stabilized the last couple of months as interest-rate-sensitive sectors such as new auto and home sales have clearly softened the outlook for the economy. Homebuyers pounced on the stability in rates as purchase mortgage applications increased, which indicates that despite higher mortgage rates this year there are buyers on the fence waiting for the right time to buy," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater in a press release.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 4.25%, up from last week when it averaged 4.24%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.3%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.12% with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.09%. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.32%.

"Mortgage rates were flat this week, holding steady near their lowest levels in more than a month but still up sharply from a year ago," Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, said when that company released its own rate tracker on Nov. 27.

"Markets are usually quiet leading up to and immediately after Thanksgiving, but a return to recent volatility may be on the horizon. The coming weeks will be telling for rates and the economy overall: Trade tensions that have loomed over the U.S. economy should get some resolution after next week's G-20 Summit, and recent comments by Federal Reserve officials suggest a less predictable path of monetary policy in 2019. Markets are likely to pay particular attention to Thursday's inflation data: If price growth remains lower than expected, a move to fewer rate hikes would appear more likely."

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