U.S. fixed mortgage rates further edged down this week after hitting a two-year high two weeks ago, helping alleviate concerns over a slowdown in the housing market, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The U.S. mortgage giant said that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) fell to 4.31 percent in the week ending July 25, down from 4.37 percent in the previous week, marking the second consecutive week of declines after reaching the highest level since July 2011.
The 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, dropped to 3.39 percent this week, down from 3.41 percent last week.
Meanwhile, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable- rate mortgage (ARM) edged down to 3.16 percent, and the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM was little changed at 2.65 percent.
Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said that the declining mortgage rates can further invigorate the housing market amid recent strong homes sales.
"Thus far, existing home sales for June were the second highest since November 2009 and new home sales were the strongest since May 2008," Nothaft noted.
The booming sales also put upward pressure on home prices, which increased for the 16th consecutive month in May and was 7.3 percent above the year-ago level, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.