Freddie Mac, step back: Mortgage rates stay crazy-low, but still no buyers

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held steady from last week, at 4.28 percent. Refinancing is popular, but home-buying remains near decade lows.

SoldAtTheTop / The Paper Economy
Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed (blue line) and 15-year fixed-rate loans (red line) held steady at last week's levels of 4.28 and 3.64 percent, respectively. The rate for one-year adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs, green line) dropped slightly to 7.03 percent.

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50 percent of all residential mortgage originations and tracks the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages, 1 year ARMs as well as application volume for both purchase and refinance applications.

The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new and existing home purchases.

The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage went flat since the last week at 4.28% while the purchase application volume increased 5.5% and the refinance application volume increased 6.0% over the same period.

It's important to note that with the final expiration of the governments massive housing tax credit subsidy, home purchase activity has been trending down precipitously despite continued declining interest rates.

The purchase application volume remains near the lowest level seen in well over a decade.

The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages as well as one year ARMs since 2006 (click for larger dynamic full-screen version).

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