U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates fell to 3.88 percent in the week ending Jan. 19, down slightly from 3.89 percent in the previous week, according to Freddie Mac.
The average 30-year rate was down from 4.74 percent in the previous year and has been below 4 percent for seven weeks. During that time, mortgage applications rose 23.1 percent, led by refinances, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was 3.17 percent, up from 3.16 percent in the previous week and down from 4.05 percent in the previous year.
Mortgage rates were nearly unchanged this holiday week in lieu of a mixed bag of economic data reports, said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, in a statement. On the consumer front, retail sales edged up only 0.1 percent in December, but the Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment index continued to climb in January to the highest reading since February 2011. On the business side, industrial production rose 0.4 percent in December, slightly below the market consensus forecast, and the core producer price index rose faster than market expectations. Finally, on the home construction front, builder confidence rose for the fourth consecutive month in January to the highest level since June 2007.
Five-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.82 percent, unchanged compared to the previous week and down from 3.69 percent in the previous year. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.74 percent, down from 2.76 percent in the previous week and 3.25 percent in the previous year.