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2011 ending with record low mortgage rates

Mortgages are at record low rates following the collapse of the economy.

Mortgages are at record low rates following the collapse of the economy.

Freddie Mac recently released results from its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which showed mortgage rates are finishing the year at historic lows.

Low mortgage rates are continuing to keep affordability high for consumers who are looking to own a home. The 30-year fixed mortgaged rate has averaged 3.95 percent for the week ending December 29, and came in at or below 4 percent for the previous nine consecutive weeks.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage average was 2.78 percent in the week of December 29 this year, and when compared to 2010, the ARM was down from 3.26 percent.

"Mortgage rates ended the year hovering near historic lows in an already affordable housing market," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economoist of Freddie Mac. "For instance, the seasonally-adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite home price index in October was the lowest seen since March 2003. The largest hit areas were Las Vegas with the lowest reading since January 1997 and Atlanta which was since June 1998."

Despite renting being an increasingly popular option for Americans who want to save money, the low mortgage rates might pose homeownership as an equally affordable option, considering home values continuing to drop. Moving trucks are likely to be seen more throughout 2012 if mortgage rates remain low.