August 6, 2009

U.S. mortgage rates decline in week

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate U.S. mortgages fell in the week ending Aug. 6, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.22 percent with an average 0.6 points, down from 5.25 percent in the previous week, Freddie Mac said.

At 4.63 percent with an average 0.6 points, the 15-year, fixed-rate average also declined, dropping from the previous week's average of 4.69 percent. A year ago, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.1 percent, the report said.

Better-than-expected economic reports helped to keep mortgage rates low this week, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

Notably, housing demand has increased with the National Association of Realtors' Housing Affordability Index hitting record levels for six out of seven months of 2009, Nothaft said.