Mortgage Rates Fall To Near Historic Lows

Mortgage rates dipped slightly this week and are once again approaching historic lows, Freddie Mac announced Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.31 percent. That’s down from 3.33 percent the last two weeks, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates reached 3.29 percent the week of March 9.

“Mortgage rates continue to hover near all-time lows for the third straight week. As a result, refinance activity remains high, but home purchase demand is weak due to economic tightening,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater said.

The survey also found:

  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.80 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.77 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.78 percent.

“While new monthly economic data are driving markets lower this week, they are a lagging indicator and should be priced in already,” Khater said. “Real time daily economic activity metrics suggest that the economy will likely not decline much further. Going forward, the key question is no longer the depth of the economic contraction, but the duration.”

Despite the low rates, credit has tightened. United Wholesale Mortgage has said they aren’t doing any FHA loans, and Chase is requiring borrowers to have a 700 credit score and 20 percent down.

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced that mortgage applications increased 7.3 percent across the country last week.