Mortgage Rates Hit Record-low Levels Again
Mortgage rates, have fallen to a record low again, Freddie Mac announced today. It's the tenth time in the last ten weeks a new low has been set. The average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage was 4.32 percent this week, which is the lowest it's been since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. The average for a 15 year fixed rate mortgage, meanwhile dropped to 3.83 percent, which is the lowest since Freddie began tracking the rates for this type of loan in 1991.
Mortgage rates have been dropping steadily since the spring when weary investors began shifting money into the safety of Treasury bonds, dropping their yields. Treasury yields are commonly used as a benchmark for interest rates. The low interest rates have sparked a flood of refinancing activity, which is at it's highest level since May 2009. Refinancing loans currently make up about 83 percent of all loans, the highest share since January 2009.
The rates have also sparked a surge in mortgage application activity, which was up 2.7 percent last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The rates have not, however, been enough to turnaround the struggling housing market. High unemployment and tighter lending standards have kept many potential buyers on the sidelines, and sales are at their lowest level in more than a decade.