Mortgage rates near record lows (by Ruth Mantell)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - As weak economic data persist, mortgage rates remained near record lows in the week ending Sept. 1, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 4.22%, matching the prior week's rate and close to a record low of 4.15%, according to the buyer of residential mortgages. A year ago, the rate was at 4.32%. "Weaker economic data reports eased upward pressure on mortgage rates this week and kept them at or near all-time record lows. Recently released data on the housing market also showed less strength as well," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, in a statement. Meanwhile, the average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.39% in the latest week, down from 3.44% in the prior week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage hit a record low of 2.96% in the latest week, down from 3.07% in the prior week. These data go back to 2005. And the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM declined to 2.89% from 2.93%.