US fixed mortgage rates edge down

Washington, March 22 (IANS) US fixed mortgage rates edged down this week and continued to support the housing recovery, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac.

The mortgage giant said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) fell to 3.54 percent in the week ended March 21, down from a six-month high of 3.63 percent in the previous week, and the 15-year FRM, a popular choice for those looking to refinance, edged down to 2.72 percent from 2.79 percent, reported Xinhua.
Both were elevated from the record lows of 3.31 percent and 2.63 percent, respectively. Since the beginning of this year, US fixed mortgage rates have maintained a modest upward trend as the housing market bottoms out. But rates remained at an affordable level for house buying and refinancing.
In addition, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) held steady at 2.61 percent, while the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM went down to 2.63 percent.
“Low and stable inflation is placing downward pressure on fixed mortgage rates. Annual growth in the consumer price index has remained at or below two percent for the past four months, and for the producer index even lower,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.