The cost of getting a mortgage has leveled off, with
The survey, released Thursday, showed a statistically insignificant decline from the 4.13% average that Freddie Mac reported last week. Interest rates on other types of home loans also leveled off, with the 15-year fixed mortgage averaging 3.23%, down from 3.24% a week ago.
The trend means that solid borrowers are snagging 30-year mortgages at 4.125%, or 4% if they pay lenders the 0.5% of the loan amount that Freddie Mac factors in. Appraisal, title insurance and other third-party expenses are not included in the survey.
Solid borrowers who pay higher points upfront still can obtain 30-year loans in the high 3% range -- remarkably cheap by historical standards, though well above the 3.31% average that Freddie's weekly survey recorded twice in the fall of 2012.
According to industry insiders, it has become somewhat easier to take advantage of the low rates.
A home loan credit availability index published by the Mortgage Bankers Assn. increased from 115.1 in May to 115.8 in June. Increases indicate a loosening of credit; the index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.
John Shrewsbury, chief financial officer at No. 1 mortgage provider
That's made it a bit easier for them to relax their internal guidelines a bit, Shrewsbury said.
But he noted: "There are still people who might qualify [under the consumer bureau's guidelines] who perhaps are having trouble getting a loan."
Wells Fargo, he said, has “reduced its overlays somewhat,” a reference to the tighter lending standards that the bank and many of its competitors impose over the minimum requirements of the consumer bureau and loan backers such as Freddie Mac,