Freddie Mac latest to report decline in mortgage rates

Mortgage rates declined again, according to Freddie Mac Mortgages fell for the third straight week of as all long-term rates found their way back under the 5 percent threshold for the first time in weeks, pleasing homeowners looking to consolidate debt through a refinanced mortgage.

For the second straight week, the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined by 0.05 percentage points to hit 4.40 percent. The figure represented the third straight week the rate had declined, and was notably lower than the 4.80 percent rate it had stood at one year earlier.

The average rate for 30-year FRMs declined for the third straight week as well, declining 0.07 percentage points to fall under the 5 percent threshold to hit 4.99 percent for the week. The rate was slightly lower than the 5.06 percent it had been documented at one year earlier.

"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’s vice president and chief economist. "Similarly, [adjustable-rate mortgage] 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 26 and 27."

The survey also found that short-term one-year adjustable-rate mortgages had declined as well, dropping 0.07 percentage points to hit 4.32 percent. The average rate for 5-year ARMs fell as well by 0.05 percentage points to hit 4.27 percent.