Mortgage Rates Ease Back a Little This Week


McLean, VA – December 23, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), which found that both fixed-rate mortgage rates eased slightly this week. The 5-year hybrid ARM dropped back slightly, but the 1-year ARM rates were up.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.81 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 23, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 4.83 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.05 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.15 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.45 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.75 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.77 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.40 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.40 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.35 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.38 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total cost of obtaining the mortgage.


Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

  • “Mortgage rates were little changed this week following significant increases over the prior several weeks. Economic reports in December have suggested the economy began regaining momentum towards the end of the year, with consumer spending, industrial production and exports all posting solid gains. Treasury yields backed up as this stronger growth outlook caused an improvement in risk appetites and the likelihood of deflation to recede further.
  • “Rates remain low, however, despite the recent rise, and are still well below where they began the year. Low mortgage rates are an important factor in housing affordability, which in October was the highest on record, according to the National Association of Realtors® . These conditions are conducive to improving housing market conditions, and indeed, sales of existing single-family homes rose 6.7 percent in November to the strongest pace since June, according to the Realtors. In addition, the median sales price rose 1.2 percent over November 2009, which represented the first 12-month increase since August and largest gain since April. Finally, new construction on one-family homes in November rose to the strongest rate since April, based on figures released by the Census Bureau .”

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

Summary of Survey Results

Fixed-Rate Mortgages
US 4.81 0.7 4.15 0.7
Northeast 4.82 0.7 4.19 0.6
Southeast 4.79 0.8 4.13 0.8
N. Central 4.84 0.5 4.15 0.5
Southwest 4.83 0.7 4.20 0.8
West 4.79 0.9 4.11 0.9
Five/One-Year Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
US 3.75 0.6 2.75
Northeast 3.86 0.5 2.76
Southeast 3.53 0.7 2.75
N. Central 4.05 0.4 2.73
Southwest 3.67 0.8 2.77
West 3.61 0.9 2.73
One-Year Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
US 3.40 0.7 2.76
Northeast 3.47 0.6 2.80
Southeast 3.32 0.8 2.75
N. Central 3.65 0.4 2.75
Southwest 3.38 0.9 2.77
West 3.23 0.8 2.75

Freddie Mac defines its regions as follows:

Northeast: NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT
Southeast: NC, SC, TN, KY, GA, AL, FL, MS, PR, VI
North Central: OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD
Southwest: TX, LA, NM, OK, AR, MO, KS, CO, NE, WY
West: CA, AZ, NV, OR, WA, UT, ID, MT, HI, AK, GU

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) is for informational purposes only and Freddie Mac is not responsible for business decisions made based on the reported results of the PMMS. In general, the data presented were calculated from information collected Monday through Wednesday of the same week that the PMMS is released and may not reflect mortgage rates, fees or points currently available from any lender. Freddie Mac may change the methodology used to conduct the PMMS at any time and without notice.


Commitment Rate is the interest rate a lender would charge to lend mortgage money to a qualified borrower exclusive of the fees and points required by the lender. This commitment rate applies only to conventional financing on conforming mortgages with loan-to-value rates of 80 percent or less.

ARM Index is the one-year Treasury

Loan to Value Ratio (LTV) is the ratio of the loan amount of a mortgage loan to the lower of the appraisal value or purchase price of the property securing the loan.

Origination Fees and Discount Points are the total charged by the lender at settlement. One point equals one percent of the loan amount.

Margin is a fixed amount added to the underlying index to establish the fully indexed rate for an ARM.

Weighted Averages for the Primary Mortgage Market Survey have been adjusted as of October 28, 2010. The new weights use the dollar volume of conventional first-lien mortgage originations within the 1-unit Freddie Mac loan limit as reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) for 2008. The weights are listed in the table below.

Freddie Mac Region PMMS Weights




North Central






Primary Mortgage Market Survey Results
December 23, 2010

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages
Average 4.81 4.82 4.79 4.84 4.83 4.79
Fees & Points 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.5 0.7 0.9
15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages
Average 4.15 4.19 4.13 4.15 4.20 4.11
Fees & Points 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.5 0.8 0.9
5/1-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Average 3.75 3.86 3.53 4.05 3.67 3.61
Fees & Points 0.6 0.5 0.7 0.4 0.8 0.9
Margin 2.75 2.76 2.75 2.73 2.77 2.73
1-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Average 3.40 3.47 3.32 3.65 3.38 3.23
Fees & Points 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.4 0.9 0.8
Margin 2.76 2.80 2.75 2.75 2.77 2.75
The National Mortgage Rate Snapshot
Average 5.05 4.45 4.40 4.38 4.83 4.17 3.77 3.35
Fees & Points 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
Margin N/A N/A 2.74 2.75 N/A N/A 2.74 2.76


or (703) 903-3933

Previous articleFreddie Mac Issues Monthly Volume Summary for November 2010
Next articleBankrate: Mortgage Rates Dip Below 5 Percent