Freddie Mac Weekly Update: Rates Mostly Unchanged This Week

30-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 5.07 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 22, 2010, unchanged from last week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.80 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage: Averaged 4.39 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.48 percent.

Five-year indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages ARMs: Averaged 4.03 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.08 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.85 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs: Averaged 4.22 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.13 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.82 percent.

Freddie Sayz

Mortgage rates on fixed loans were relatively unchanged this week while ARM rates were mixed, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. These low mortgage rates are revitalizing the home construction industry. For instance, although new building of one-family homes slowed slightly between February and March by an annualized rate of 0.9 percent, this was primarily due to a 33.7 percent drop in the Midwest.

The other three regions rose to their strongest pace since the second half of 2008. In addition, builder confidence rose more than the market consensus in April to the highest level since September 2009, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index . During the same month, the builder gauge of current home sales increased to its highest since March 2008.

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