Mortgage rates decline in first full week of March, says Freddie Mac

Mortgage rates fell as March got underway, according to Freddie Mac Homeowners looking to save some money or consolidate debt received another week of favorable rates from the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac on Thursday.

According to the survey 30-year fixed-rate mortgage saw their average interest rate drop 0.02 percentage points to 4.95 percent for the week ending March 11. While a decline, it failed to match the 0.08 percentage point decline one week earlier that dropped it below 5 percent.

The average interest rate for 15-year FRMs declined for the week as well, shedding 0.01 percentage points to 4.32 percent. The average rate had also enjoyed a larger 0.07 percentage point decline the week prior.

"During a light week of mixed economic reports, mortgage rates eased somewhat," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist. "Pending existing home sales fell 7.6 percent in January, well below the market consensus of a 1 percent gain. Meanwhile, the economy lost only 36,000 jobs in February, fewer than market forecasts, and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent."

The average interest rate for 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages were the only mortgage type to outdo its previous week, shedding 0.06 percentage points to hit 4.05 percent and outpace the 0.05 percentage point decline the week prior.