Fixed Rate Mortgages Hit New Record Lows in Freddie Mac’s Weekly Survey
Records for the lowest-ever 30-year and 15-year average fixed mortgage rates were broken once again, as per Freddie Mac’s weekly report on average mortgage rates, released last Thursday. The 30-year fixed mortgages bottomed out at 3.53 percent, down from the previous week’s 3.56 percent, while 15-year fixed mortgages fell to 2.83 percent from 2.86 percent.
This is also the 12th time in 13 weeks that a record for lowest 30-year loan rate was either set or tied.
By and large, low mortgage rates are a good sign pointing towards a recovery from the previous housing crisis. These rates encourage more people to buy homes or refinance their existing property, though the stats can be a bit misleading – many of those who would qualify for the lowest rates have already refinanced their homes.
Still, most American markets have reported an increase in home prices, while improved builder confidence has resulted in the most homes built in a four-year span.
Despite the encouraging signs, there are also factors that are making the recovery of the United States’ housing market quite slow. In addition to the number of people who have already taken advantage of the low rates and refinanced, it remains quite difficult to qualify for these record-low rates.
Only 80,000 new jobs were created in June, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 8.2 percent. Home sales are still far below what they used to be pre-recession.
As it had been in previous weeks, the main factors connected to the drop in mortgage rates included concerns about the U.S. and European economies. This has brought about an increase in demand for Treasury notes, which in turn leads to lower average mortgage rates.