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Fall of Chinese Stock Market Leads to Lower Mortgage Rates

by Chuck Green

Freddie MacAverage fixed mortgage rates in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest levels since May of this year amid substantial and ongoing global volatility out of China, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 3.84 percent, marking the fifth consecutive week with a rate below 4 percent. Rates were down from last week when they averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.

Primary Mortgage Market Survey

Freddie Mac also reported on the following mortgage rates.

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage FRM averaged 3.84 percent.
  • The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.06 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent.
  • The 5-year Treasury-index hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage ARM averaged 2.90 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.94 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.
  • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.39 percent.

The Federal Reserve and Mortgage Rates

Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac, said the global economic events could halt the Fed’s efforts at raising interest rates.

“Given the recent volatility, mortgage rates could change up or down significantly by the time this report is released,” Becketti said. “There are indications though that the unsettled state of global markets will make the Fed think twice before taking any action on short-term interest rates in September. If that’s the case, the 30-year mortgage rate may remain subdued in the short-to-medium term, providing support for continued strength in the housing sector. Just this week, new home sales were reported to be up 26 percent year over year.”

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