5-year ARM interest rates hit new record low

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The average interest rate for the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage dropped to a new record low over the past seven days, while fixed-rate mortgages remained flat on a week-over-week basis, according to the latest data from government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. The five-year Treasury-indexed ARM hit 3.22 percent this week, down from 3.25 percent last week and 3.79 percent during the same week one year ago. The previous record low was 3.25 percent in November 2010. Meanwhile, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage saw an average interest rate of 4.51 percent, up only slightly from last week, when it averaged 4.5 percent, but down from last year’s 4.58 percent. Its 15-year counterpart held steady at 3.69 percent week-over-week, but was down from 4.04 percent last year at this time. According to Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, this was the fourth consecutive week in which the 30-year mortgage held steady, despite “mixed reports on the strength of the economy,” and “some signs of improvement in the housing market.” — Sarabeth Sanders