30-year mortgage rate at record low 3.89% (by Ruth Mantell)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Mortgage rates have hit record lows, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly report on these rates, following "mixed" labor-market indicators. The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 3.89% in the week ended Jan. 12, compared with 3.91% in the prior week, according to Freddie, a buyer of residential mortgages. These data go back to 1971. A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 4.71%. "Although the economy added 1.6 million jobs in 2011, which was the most since 2006, the unemployment rate remained historically elevated," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie's chief economist, in a statement. To obtain the latest rate, payment of an average 0.7 point was required. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged in prepaid interest. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 3.16% in the latest week from 3.23% in the prior week. These data go back to 1991. Meanwhile, the average rate on the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage declined to a record low of 2.82% from 2.86%. These data go back to 2005. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM fell to a record low of 2.76% from 2.80%. These data go back to 1984.