Mortgage rates relatively flat this week after governmental measures

Register now

Mortgage rates were little changed this week as the markets reacted positively to various economic measures coming out of Washington, according to Freddie Mac.

"Mortgage rates have stabilized over the last few weeks as the market searches for direction in the fog of economic data," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release. "While financial markets initially rallied on the news of Federal Reserve support and are improving due to the Senate's passage of a new small business stimulus, we continue to see a deep economic contraction amidst uncertainty about the recovery formation."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33% for the week ending April 23, up slightly from last week when it averaged 3.31%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.2%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.86%, up from last week when it averaged 2.8%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.64%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.28% with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.34%. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.77%.

Mortgage rates remain higher than other indicators suggest where they should be, Matthew Speakman, a Zillow economist, said in a statement accompanying its rate tracker. Rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage moved within a very narrow bound over the past week.

"But while this newfound stability is generally positive, it is somewhat surprising that two developments normally expected to have a notable impact on mortgage rates barely moved the market. First, a dramatic decline in oil prices helped push Treasury yields to their lowest level in a month and close to their all-time low. Normally, Treasury yields are a good indicator for mortgage rates, but that relationship has frayed in the past month," Speakman said.

"Second, the much-anticipated announcement of a relief package for mortgage servicers — who had expressed concern over their ability to advance payments to investors amid a surge of forbearance claims — also had little immediate impact on mortgage rates. On the surface, this aid was generally intended to provide relief for the servicers, but a look under the hood suggests that the package won’t be as beneficial as some were hoping. As a result, mortgage rates barely budged, and the underlying concerns that have plagued the market for the last few weeks remain in place."

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Mortgage rates forecast Mortgage rates Freddie Mac Economy Zillow