Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist:
•"Fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.36 percent for 30-year loans and 2.67 percent for 15-year product during the fourth quarter in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, the lowest quarterly averages recorded in our survey. For borrowers motivated to refinance by low fixed-rates, they could obtain even lower rates by shortening their term. Further, a shorter-term, fully amortizing loan reduces the loan balance faster and builds home equity sooner.
•"Borrowers with smaller loan balances can shorten their loan term when refinancing with smaller dollar increases in their monthly payment than borrowers with large loan balances. That's an important reason why a larger percent of borrowers in a low housing cost market shorten their term when compared to borrowers in very high cost markets."
Quarterly Product Transition Information
These estimates come from a sample of properties on which Freddie Mac has funded at least two successive loans and the latest loan is for refinance rather than for home purchase. Some loan products, such as 1-year ARMs and balloons, are based on a small number of transactions. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the refinance share of applications averaged 83 percent in finance%2frefi-arm_archives.htm">Freddie Mac's monthly refi survey, and the ARM share of applications was 4 percent in finance%2frefi-arm_archives.htm">Freddie Mac's monthly ARM survey, which includes purchase-money as well as refinance applications.
•finance%2fdocs%2fquarterlytransition.xls">Quarterly Product Transition Statistics
Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters. For more information, visit www.Freddiemac.com. Twitter: @FreddieMac
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