By Ruth Mantell
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked down to a record low of 3.88% in the week ended Jan. 19 from 3.89% in the prior week, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly report. These data go back to 1971. A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 4.74%. “Mortgage rates were nearly unchanged this holiday week” amid mixed economic reports, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie’s chief economist, in a statement. To obtain the latest rate, payment of an average 0.8 point was required, according to Freddie, a buyer of residential mortgages. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged in prepaid interest. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked higher to 3.17% in the latest week from a record low of 3.16% in the prior week. These data go back to 1991. Meanwhile, the average rate on the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage remained at 2.82%, matching the record low set in the prior week. These data go back to 2005. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM fell to a record low of 2.74% from 2.76%. These data go back to 1984.