Another week, another record low for mortgage rates.
Fixed-rate mortgages fell again to new record lows this week,
with the standard 30-year loan dropping to an average of 3.49
percent in the weekly
rate survey. That's more than a full percentage point lower than
the 4.55 percent average recorded one year ago this week and down
from 3.53 percent last week.
Meanwhile, average rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, which
have grown increasingly popular for refinancing, fell to 2.80
percent, also a record low in the Freddie Mac survey, down from
2.83 percent last week. One year ago, 15-year loans were averaging
Mortgage rates have been dropping almost continuously for three
months now, with one or both types of loans setting new record lows
in 12 of the past 13 weeks.
Average rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have fallen as
well, although less steadily. Initial rates on 5-year Treasury
indexed ARMs increased this past week, rising to 2.74 percent from
last week's record low of 2.69 percent.
Home sales suffer setbacks
Meanwhile, there were additional indications that the recovery
in the housing market suffered a setback in June, with declines
reported in both new home sales and pending home sales.
Signed contracts for home purchases were down by a seasonally
adjusted 1.4 percent in June, according to figures released today
by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), while the Census
Bureau reported Wednesday that new home sales fell by a seasonally
adjusted 8.4 percent.
Those reports come after the NAR reported last week that
existing home sales fell by 5.4 percent in June. All three
indicators continue to show annual gains, however, with increases
over their June 2011 levels.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the slowdown in existing
and pending sales are due in part to a limited number of existing
homes for sale, because many potential sellers are unable to put
their homes on the market due to being underwater on their
mortgages. He said high demand for refinancing brought on by low
interest rates has also created some delays for borrowers seeking
to finance home purchases.
First published on MortgageLoan.com at: