Mortgage rates eased for the second straight week, according to Freddie Mac, with lenders offering the 30-year fixed home loan to solid borrowers at an average of 4.31%, down from 4.37% a week ago.
The typical rate for a loan fixed for 15 years dropped slightly as well, Freddie Mac said Thursday, from 3.41% to 3.39%.
Start rates for variable-interest loans also fell, according to the McLean, Va., home finance company, which has been under government control since it was bailed out during the financial crisis.
With the 30-year fixed loan now bumping around about a percentage point above its record lows, a refinancing boom has tapered off. But the rates are still a bargain by historic standards, and strong demand to purchase homes does not appear to have been dampened much by the increase.
Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country early each week, asking what terms they are offering to borrowers with good credit and 20% down payments (or at least 20% home equity in the case of refis), along with the financial capacity to make their mortgage payments.
The borrowers would have paid less than 1% of the loan amount in upfront fees and discount points to the lenders.