For the fourth consecutive week, mortgage rates have fallen to all-time lows. The 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.01 percent this week, which is a drop from last week's 5.1 percent. Last year at this time, rates averaged 5.87 percent.

"Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the 10th week ... due in part to the Federal Reserve's recent purchases of mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae," says Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

Other rates also dropped for the week:

  • 15-year fixed rates: dropped to 4.62 percent from 4.83 percent last week. Last year at this time 15-year mortgage rates averaged 5.43 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.49 percent, a drop from 5.57 percent last week.


The only slight increase in rates this week was in 1-year ARMs, which were 4.95 percent, up from 4.85 percent last week. Overall, 1-year ARMs were still down for the year from last year's 5.37 percent.

Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Amy Hoak (1/09/09)