U.S. fixed mortgage rates this week remained steady basically, finishing this year near historic lows, said the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The mortgage giant said that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.35 percent in the week ending Dec. 27, down from last week's 3.37 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3. 95 percent.
The 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, held unchanged at 2.65 percent from the previous week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM was 3.24 percent.
In addition, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable- rate mortgage (ARM) inched down to 2.70 percent, while the one- year Treasury-indexed ARM was up to 2.56 percent.
The U.S. Federal Reserve announced this month that it would purchase longer-term U.S. government debt at a pace of 45 billion U.S. dollars per month starting in January, a move to expand its third-round quantitative easing program. This fresh move has brought the long-term mortgage rates further lower.
For 2012, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent, the lowest annual average in at least 65 years, serving as a crucial incentive 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.