Freddie Mac: Average rates decline for second straight week

Mortgage rates declined for the second straight week Consumers looking to refinance their mortgages in order to consolidate debt may not find a better time than now, as the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac saw declines in all mortgage types during the weekending February 18.

The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages matched its decline from the week prior, shedding 0.04 percentage points to remain under 5 percent at 4.93 percent. One year earlier, the rate was north of the 5 percent threshold at 5.04 percent.

The average rate for 15-year FRMs fell as well, edging down 0.01 percentage points to 4.33 percent. A year ago at this time, the rate had averaged 4.68 percent.

"Mortgage rates eased for the second week, while economic data releases suggest that the housing market may be in a slow state of recovery," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between the third and fourth quarters of 2009; 32 states experienced double-digit growth."

The average rate for the 1-year adjustable rate mortgage saw the biggest decline of the week, shedding 0.11 percentage points to hit 4.23. Five-year ARMs also saw their average rate drop by 0.07 percentage points during the week to hit 4.12 percent.