National mortgage rate averages dip for second straight week

According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending April 11, popular mortgage products dropped a considerable amount - some for the second consecutive week.

Following a notable decrease in early April, mortgage records were again seen at lower levels nationwide last week. 

According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending April 11, popular mortgage products dropped a considerable amount - some for the second consecutive week. Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell considerably from 3.54 to 3.43 percent during the week, settled at a level close to its 65-year record low. Additionally, 15-year FRM averages declined substantially from 2.74 to 2.65 percent.

Along with weekly improvements, positive annual change was noted by the government sponsored enterprise, as during the same week in April 2012, 30-year products were 3.88 percent and 15-year options were 3.11 percent.

Average five-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages were reportedly recorded at 2.62 percent last week, having slipped from the previous week's reading of 2.65 percent. One-year treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs dropped slightly from 2.63 to 2.62 percent. Year-over-year, these products have also exhibited considerable improvement, as five-year ARMs were 2.85 percent and one-year products were 2.80 percent during the same period last year.

Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft attributed recent employment numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor for last week's rate decline. Although a sizable number of jobs were added to the market, the total was almost half of the expected amount. 

"Mortgage rates fell further this week following a lackluster employment report for March," Nothaft said. "The economy added just 88,000 net new jobs last month, about one-third as many as February and the fewest since June 2012. In addition, approximately 496,000 people left the workforce causing the unemployment rate to fall to 7.6 percent. Further, average hourly earnings were unchanged in March, indicating income growth remains tepid."

National unemployment level remains firm amid small job growth
Although the 88,000 positions added to the labor market during March may have helped consumers to again experience a sense of safety and soundness in their personal finances, further progress may be needed to see the national economy and housing market fully recover.

The Labor Department reported the amount of long-term unemployed persons - about 4.6 million - remained largely unchanged, and currently comprise nearly 40 percent of all those who are unemployed.

Those who are employed on private nonfarm payrolls reportedly saw their average hourly earnings appreciate by one cent to total $23.82, although their average workweek increased by 0.1 hour to amount to 34.6 hours.

As mortgage rates afford additional opportunities for consumers to pursue homeownership, related gains in the nation's economy and job market could possibly be exhibited in the coming month.

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