Freddie Mac: 30-year mortgage rate hovers just above 4%

Homes under construction in Irvine on Aug. 19.
Homes under construction in Irvine on Aug. 19.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Lenders were offering 30-year fixed mortgages to solid borrowers this week at an average of 4.01%, a Freddie Mac survey found, down a hair from 4.02% last week.

The average rate for a 15-year fixed loan, a popular option for refinancers, edged lower to 3.2% from 3.21%, the mortgage financing giant reported in its weekly survey, released Thursday.

Rates tend to rise when the economy grows quickly, but a key indicator this week, the October unemployment report, contained “mixed results,” said Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft.


“While the unemployment rate declined to 5.8%, nonfarm employment rose by 214,000 jobs, which was below consensus expectations,” Nothaft said.

The average for 30-year home loans dipped below 4% for three weeks last month, setting off a small wave of mortgage refinancing.

Requests to refinance homes made up 63% of all mortgage applications last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Assn.

Freddie Mac asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to lower-risk borrowers on loans of up to $417,000.

The borrowers typically would have paid half of a percentage point in lender fees and discount points to obtain the loans.

The survey excludes costs for third-party services that borrowers usually pay, such as appraisals and title insurance.

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