Home loans rates drop again in Freddie Mac survey

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Fixed-rate mortgages continued their descent into record territory early this week, but now may be poised to move higher again.

Lenders surveyed Monday through Wednesday were offering the 30-year loan at an average 4.09% and the 15-year mortgage at 3.30%, Freddie Mac said in its weekly report. Those were the lowest levels since the big mortgage-finance company started tracking the 30-year loan in 1971,


The rates were down from 4.12% and 3.33% respectively a week earlier. Borrowers would have paid 0.7% in lender fees to obtain the 30-year loan and 0.6% for the 15-year mortgage, Freddie Mac said in releasing the report Thursday.

Treasury-bond yields, a benchmark for mortgage rates, sank to near-record lows last week as harried investors sought safety in government securities, with the 10-year note generally yielding less than 2% annual interest and closing below that level Monday and Tuesday.

But rates may be reversing course: the yield on the 10-year bond rose Wednesday and was up sharply early Thursday to 2.09% as European leaders and central banks appeared more ready to address the ongoing debt crisis.

The all-time record lows for home loans were set 60 years ago, Freddie Mac said.

Long-term fixed-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration averaged 4.08% for several months in 1950-51, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The same survey shows long-term rates at 4.09% in June of 1950.


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--E. Scott Reckard