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Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates little changed this week

March 10, 2011 |  7:23 am

Mortgage rates held steady this week, with lenders offering 30-year fixed-rate loans at 4.88% on average and 15-year fixed loans at 4.15%, Freddie Mac reported in its latest weekly survey.

The borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the rates, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

IFRE logon Freddie's survey a week earlier, the 30-year was being offered at 4.87% and the 15-year at 4.15%. Start rates on adjustable loans were nearly unchanged as well, the survey showed.

The 30-year mortgage rate, which twice dipped to less than 4.2% last fall in the Freddie survey, climbed back above 5% in mid-February before again dropping below 5%. 

Freddie, the giant loan buyer and issuer of mortgage bonds, nearly collapsed during the financial crisis. It was made a ward of the government to support the housing markets, and loans backed by Freddie, government-controlled Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration now make up 95% of the mortgage business.

The Freddie Mac survey is conducted each Monday through Wednesday. It asks lenders to report popular combinations of rates and fees on loans of up to $417,000 that they are offering to borrowers with good credit, a 20% down payment or 20% home equity, and enough provable income to make the loan payments.

Well-qualified borrowers who shop around often find slightly better deals, and it's possible to pay more upfront to get a lower rate.


Obama administration releases plan for overhauling mortgage market, calls for phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fewer people falling behind on mortgages

-- E. Scott Reckard