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On the radar: Freddie Mac fixed rates for mortgage down again as of March 26

Fixed rates for mortgages were down as of March 26 in the Freddie Mac weekly data. In a normal market, these sorts of rates would be attractive. However, the economic outlook is highly uncertain and many workers are dealing with layoffs and no immediate prospect of a paycheck for some weeks. This is not an environment which will support homebuying or refinancing, no matter how favorable the lending costs.

The 30-year fixed rate declined 15 basis points to 3.50%, partially unwinding the 29 basis point increase in the prior week. For March to-date, the average rate is at 3.45%, little changed from the 3.47% in February.

The 15-year fixed rate was down 14 basis points to 2.92% after climbing 29 basis points to 3.06% in the prior week. For March to-date, the average is at 2.89%, down noticeably from 2.97% in February and the lowest since 2.76% in October 2016.

The rate for a 5/1-year ARM was up 23 basis points to 3.34% as of March 26, its highest weekly rate since 3.39% in the January 16 week. For March to-date, the average is at 3.16%, 10 basis points below the 3.26% in February.

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