Author: Tory Barringer

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In a bit of good news for homebuyers before the prime spring season, mortgage rates fell back a bit this week, according to reports from Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com.

In its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging a rate of 4.34 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending April 10, a decline from 4.41 percent last week.

A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed was down nearly a full percentage point: 3.43 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.38 percent (0.6 point), down nearly a tenth of a percentage point from early April.

Average adjustable rates also came down. According to Freddie Mac, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.09 percent (0.5 point) this week, down a few basis points, while the 1-year ARM dropped to 2.41 percent (0.5 point).

“Mortgage rates eased a bit following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “Also, the economy added 192,000 jobs in March, which was below the market consensus forecast but followed an upward revision of 22,000 jobs in February. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent.”

Bankrate’s weekly national survey showed similar rate changes: The finance site recorded the 30-year fixed average at 4.47 percent, with the 15-year fixed averaging 3.52 percent. Meanwhile, the 5/1 ARM was unchanged at 3.34 percent.

Analysts for the site also pointed to investor turmoil as the cause behind the week’s movements: “Any time there is stock market volatility and investors get nervous, that tends to be good news for mortgage rates. As investors gravitate to bonds of various types, including those backed by mortgages, it helps bring the rates that are quoted to mortgage borrowers lower.

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