Mortgage Rates Still Sliding to New Lows: 30-Year at 4.19%

Low interest ratesMortgages rates slid to new lows again this week – with the 30-year fixed at 4.19 percent – as refinancing activity is starting to surge in response to an historic stretch that has kept rates under 5 percent for 23 consecutive weeks.
Freddie Mac’s weekly update today also reported a new low for the 15-year fixed rate mortgage – 3.62 percent, down from 3.72 percent the previous week.
But the benchmark 30-year fixed rate, the most popular option for homeowners, fell to the lowest recorded by Freddie Mac since 1971, down to 4.19 percent from 4.27 percent from the previous week.
Not since April 1951 has the 30-year rate been so low, according to data from Federal Housing Administration files that go back to 1948, Freddie Mac said today.
“September’s employment report held no big surprises to financial markets, allowing long-term bond yields and fix mortgage rates to continue to ease,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. ”As a result, both the 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage rates hit all-time record lows for the third consecutive week.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association yesterday reported a big surge of 21 percent – compared to the previous week — in its index measuring refinancing activity. But the index that reads applications for the purchase of a home fell 8.5 percent, as home sales continue lackluster holdover activity from the slow summer months.
However, applications for conventional mortgages have rebounded since the expiration of homebuyer tax credits on April 30.
“…Borrowers who had been on the fence jumped off, which factored into refinance activity surging more than 20 percent,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of Research and Economics.  “Refinance application volumes are now close to the highest level this year. Purchase activity remains generally weak, but applications for conventional purchase mortgages are now at their highest level since the beginning of May.”

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