After showing little change, fixed-mortgage rates recently started to decline, Freddie Mac said in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
Falling from 3.56% a week ago, the 30-year, fixed-mortgage rate reached 3.51% for the week ending Feb. 28, a decline from 3.90% a year ago.
The 15-year, FRM averaged 2.76%, down just a little from 2.77%, but significantly down from 3.17% a year earlier.
Also decreasing, the 5-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61%, down from 2.64% last week and from 2.83% a year earlier.
Following suit, the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64%, down 1% from 2.65% a week ago, but down 2.72% from a year ago.
“Mortgage rates eased somewhat as the consumer price index in February held steady for the second month in a row. House price indicators, however, showed gains in 2012. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index rose 7.3% last year, reflecting the largest four-quarter growth since the third quarter of 2006,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.
Nothaft added, “This, in part, was a driving force that pushed up the number of existing and new home sales in February to the highest levels since July 2007 and July 2008, respectively.”