McLean, VA –Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.99 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 21, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 5.06 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.12 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.40 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.80 percent. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.27 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.32 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.24 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.32 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.39 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.92 percent.

“Fixed mortgage rates followed bond yields lower for the third consecutive week, pushing 30-year mortgages below 5 percent once more,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Similarly, ARM rates eased along with shorter-term rates, as the federal funds futures market indicates no increase in the Federal Reserve’s target rate following its upcoming committee meeting on January 26th and 27th.

“Because of reduced sample sizes and work disruptions that occur with severe weather, housing starts tend to be more volatile during winter months. And, indeed, housing starts declined 4.0 percent in December, falling short of the market consensus of no change. Building permits , which are less vulnerable to weather interruptions, unexpectedly jumped 10.9 percent.”

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