WASHINGTON (MNI) – The following is the text of the latest Primary
Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday morning by Freddie Mac:

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary
Mortgage Market Survey showing average fixed mortgage rates at
or near all-time record lows helping to keep homebuyer affordability
high. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.91 percent for the week, a new
all-time low, dropping below last week’s 3.94 percent, the previous
record low. The 15-year fixed matched last week’s all-time record low at
3.21 percent. Adjustable rate products also hit new all-time lows in
this week’s survey.

–30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an
average 0.7 point for the week ending December 22, 2011, down from last
week when it averaged 3.94 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year
FRM averaged 4.81 percent.

–15-year FRM this week averaged 3.21 percent with an average 0.8
point, matching last week when it averaged 3.21 percent. A year ago at
this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.

–5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
averaged 2.85 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from
last week when it averaged 2.86 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM
averaged 3.75 percent.

–1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.77 percent this week with
an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent.
At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.40 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac:

“Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have been at or below 4 percent
for the last eight weeks and now are almost 0.9 percentage points below
where they were at the beginning of the year, which means that today’s
homebuyers are paying over $1,200 less per year on a $200,000 loan. This
greater affordability helped push existing home sales higher for the
second consecutive month in November to an annualized pace of 4.42
million, the most since January. In addition, new construction of
one-family homes also showed a back-to-back monthly gain in November to
the largest increase since June. Moreover, homebuilder confidence in
December rose to its highest reading since May 2010 according to the
NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.”

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **