Mortgage Rates At All-Time Low Amid Credit Squeeze

Freddie Mac announced Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.23 percent, the lowest rate in the survey’s 50-year history.

“The size and depth of the secondary mortgage market is helping to keep rates at record lows,” Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater said. “These low rates are driving higher refinance activity and have modestly helped improve purchase demand from their extremely low levels in mid-April.” 

Despite the low rates, however, there are clear signs that the credit market is tightening amid the coronavirus pandemic, meaning fewer and fewer people are able to take advantage of the historically low rates.

Redfin announced Wednesday that its Mortgage Credit Availability Index dropped 16 percent in March and is at its lowest level in five years. The index measures how easy it is to get a home loan.

“While many people are benefitting from low mortgage rates, it’s important to remember that not all people are able to take advantage of them given the current pandemic,” Khater said.

The Freddie Mac survey found:

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.23 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 30, down from last week’s 3.33 percent and 4.14 percent a year ago this time.
  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s 2.86 percent and 3.60 percent a year ago.
  • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.14 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week’s 3.28 percent and 3.68 percent a year ago.

See the full report here.