Mortgage Rates Drop to Nearly 5%

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are moving back toward their record lows.

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Heads up, thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are heading back towards 5 percent:

Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.04 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 19, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 5.16 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.04 percent…

"Mortgage rates followed bond yields lower this week as recent economic reports suggest the economy is still slowing, which reduces the future threat of inflation," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "And consumer sentiment fell in February for the first time in three months to near its lowest level since May 1980, while industrial production slowed in January by more than the market consensus. In addition, the Federal Reserve lowered its growth forecasts for this year during its policy-setting meeting on January 27-28, noting a deeper contraction in the economy as the credit crunch tightens.

"Meanwhile, the housing market is not doing any better. New housing construction slowed to an all-time record low of 466,000 homes (annualized) in January since records began in January 1959. And although homebuilder confidence ticked up in February from a record low, builder expectations of sales over the next six months hit a record low since it was first published in January 1985."