Mortgage rates finish '04 with record lows

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 5.81 percent this week, up from 5.75 percent the week before, capping a year of record-low rates that spurred a booming real estate market, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

“The 30-year FRM came in under 6 percent for the last 22 weeks of this year. As a matter of fact, mortgage rates in 2004 averaged around 5.84 percent, the second lowest annual rate ever recorded in the history of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,” said Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. “Total home sales reflected those affordable rates by setting new record-breaking high levels for the year. Although mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2005, it will not be to a big enough degree to take much of the steam out of the housing industry. Next year sales may drop off slightly from this year’s banner pace, but the industry will continue to be healthy and robust well into the future.”

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