U.S. fixed mortgage rates this week held steady basically, remaining near all-time lows amid signs of a growing economy and low inflation, said the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The mortgage giant said that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.39 percent in the week ending Nov. 1, down from last week's 3.41 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM was 4.00 percent.
The 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, edged down to 2.70 percent from 2.72 percent in the previous week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3. 31 percent.
Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) inched down to 2.74 percent, while the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM was down to 2.58 percent.
The economy grew 2.0 percent in the third quarter with residential fixed investment contributing 0.3 percentage point to growth. The core price index of personal consumer expenditures advanced 1.7 percent between Sept. 2011 and 2012. These combined factors indicate the economy is growing and the inflation is under control, noted Freddie Mac.
The U.S. Federal Reserve in September launched a third round of bond buying, which immediately dragged down the long-term interest rates to their newest lows. Though the mortgage rates have been edging up in recent weeks, they are still quite low to support house refinancing and buying.
With constant improvement this year, the U.S. housing crash is said to have reached the bottom. However, many economists hold that the market still needs years to recover entirely as the bottom will be prolonged.
In addition, Superstorm Sandy may also impact the recovery of housing market, with resulting in lower numbers in new sales and applications of mortgages, according to the mortgage industry analysis.