Real Estate & Area News

30-Year Mortgage Rate Reaches 19-Month Low

Mortgage rates fell again this week, according to a report issued Thursday by mortgage giant Freddie Mac, with the 30-year fixed mortgage reaching its lowest average in some 19 months. The declines were expected by most economists on the heels of a string of underwhelming economic reports in recent days. The US Commerce Department issued a disappointing report on new home sales, which came in below analyst expectations, and the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales dipped by 1 percent in October. Elsewhere, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 7.3 percent slide in mortgage applications, including a 13 percent slide in requests for refinancing loans.

According to Freddie's report, the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, the most common loan type used for home purchases, slid from 3.97 percent last week to 3.89 percent. The last time the 30-year averaged under 3.9 percent was May of 2013. The 30-year average is now down more than half of a percentage point from the same week a year ago, and has remained under 4 percent for three consecutive weeks. The average for the 15-year, meanwhile, fell from 3.17 percent to 3.10 percent, matching its lowest level in six weeks. So-called adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARMs, fell as well, with the 1-year ARM sliding from 2.44 to 2.41 percent, and the 5-year ARM dropping from 3.01 percent to 2.99 percent.

To compile its weekly report on mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys conforming lenders each week between Monday and Wednesday, compiling and releasing the rates on Thursday.

December 4, 2014