Mortgage rates match record lows, Freddie Mac reports


The news is generally improving on the home-finance front, with mortgage rates holding at all-time lows in the latest Freddie Mac report and bank regulators saying new foreclosures fell to a three-year low.

The Freddie survey, released Thursday morning, showed lenders were offering 30-year fixed loans to solid borrowers at 3.66% on average, matching last week’s record low. The 15-year fixed mortgage dropped from 2.95% to 2.94%, matching its record low set early this month.

Borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan balance in lender fees and discount points to obtain the rates, according to the survey that Freddie Mac conducts early each week. Borrowers often pay additional costs for appraisals, title insurance and other third-party services.


In a quarterly report this week, the Treasury Department agency that regulates national banks said improvements in the job market, more aggressive loan modifications and the bottoming-out of housing prices in many areas had contributed to the drop in new foreclosures.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said 2% fewer homes fell into foreclosure in the first quarter compared to previous quarter, with the number down 8% from a year earlier.

About 4.5% of all home loans were 60 days or more behind on payments and considered seriously delinquent, the OCC said. That was down more than 10% from the previous quarter and 6% from a year earlier.


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