Fixed-rate mortgages edged back toward all-time lows this week,
with average rates holding just a hair above their all-time
Average interest rates on the standard 30-year fixed-rate
mortgage dropped to 3.88 percent in this week's
rate survey, down from 3.90 percent the week before and just a
single basis point above the all-time low of 3.87 percent recorded
That was mirrored by 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, which inched
down to 3.12 percent, down from 3.13 percent last week and a single
point above the all-time low of 3.11 percent two weeks
ago. That's good news for borrowers refinancing current
mortgages, who have been increasingly turning toward 15-year loans
as a way to get rock-bottom rates while building equity and paying
off their mortgages more quickly.
Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were headed in the
other direction, with initial rates on 5-year Treasury indexed ARMs
rising to 2.85 percent, up from 2.78 percent the week before.
Origination fees and discount points on all three loan types
declined as well. Rates reported for 30-year mortgages included an
average 0.6 points paid, down from 0.7 last week, while 15-year
loans and 5-year ARMs both dropped to 0.7 points, down from 0.8
last week. Lower points mean a lower effective rate as
"Fixed mortgage rates held near record lows this week as the
markets waited for the Federal Reserve's April 25
monetary policy announcement following two days of deliberations,"
explained Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "The Fed
stated that it expects economic growth to remain moderate and then
pick up gradually. In addition, it noted that labor market
conditions have improved in recent months and it anticipates the
unemployment rate will decline gradually."
The Fed's statement warned that the housing market remains
depressed, despite some signs of improvement. The Federal Housing
Finance Agency's index of prices paid for home purchases rose 0.3
percent in February, and showed its first 12-month gain since
before the crash. New home sales in March, as reported by the
Census Bureau, were stronger than expected.
First published on MortgageLoan.com: