30 Year Mortgage Rate
December 25, 2011 by staff
Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year home loan fell from 3.94 percent the previous week. The 3.91 percent rate is the lowest average for long-term fixed mortgages on records dating to the 1950s
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged this week at 3.21 percent. That’s also a record.
Low rates offer a historic opportunity for those who can afford to buy a home or refinance. But many Americans either can’t take advantage of the rates or have already done so.
Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks in 2011. Even so, this year is shaping up to be one of the worst ever for home sales.
Rates could fall further still. Many economists think the yield on the 10-year Treasury note could creep lower in 2012. Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the 10-year Treasury yield.
Should the Federal Reserve launch a new program of bond purchases in the coming months to try to help the economy, it could further drive down mortgage rates.
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, has said that despite the super-low loan rates, foreclosures and falling home values have created obstacles for would-be buyers.
Sales of previously occupied homes are just slightly ahead of last year’s dismal sales figures. New-home sales appear headed for their worst year on records going back half a century.
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