Mortgage rates are down for first time this year

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After increasing for nine consecutive weeks, mortgage rates dropped for the first time in 2018, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

30-Year FRM 15-Year ARM 5/1 Year ARM
Average Rates
3.9% 3.67%
Fees & Points

For the week ending March 15, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.44%, down from 4.46% last week, with an average 0.5 point. During this same week last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.3%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.9% with an average 0.5 point. Though the 15-year FRM was only 3.5% this time last year, it was still down from 3.94% from last week.

Data about inflation was weaker than expected and that, along with the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, contributed to increased prices and lower yields on the 10-year Treasury, which is used as a benchmark for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

"Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report showed inflation is cooling down; headline consumer price inflation was 2.2% year-over-year in February, which was in line with the consensus forecast," said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, in a press release.

"Following this news, the 10-year Treasury fell slightly. Mortgage rates followed Treasury's lower and ended a nine-week surge. The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell 2 basis points to 4.44% in this week’s survey, its first decline this year,” he continued.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.67% with a 0.4 point this week, up from last week's 3.63% average. The five-year ARM was 3.28% this time a year ago.

Last week, mortgage rates eased a bit before dropping this week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell softened statements on his expectations for interest rates.

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