Another week, another set of record lows for fixed rate mortgages.
The 30-year fixed rate average dropped to an all-time low for the second consecutive week, falling ever so slightly from 3.84 percent last week to 3.83 percent, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac. The average stood at 4.63 percent this time last year.
The 15-year average followed suit, dipping to 3.05 percent after setting a new record last week at 3.07 percent. One year ago, the 15-year averaged 3.82 percent.
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist, largely pegged the drop in rates this week to a dip in bond yields.
“Following April’s weaker than expected employment report, and the French and Greek election results raising concerns over the stability of the Euro currency zone, long-term Treasury bond yields declined allowing fixed mortgage rates to ease to new all-time record lows this week,” he said in a statement.
On Wednesday, new data showed that the number of U.S. homeowners behind on their mortgage payments has also dropped to the lowest level since 2009, with only 5.78 percent of mortgage holders falling behind during the first three months of the year. That’s down from a 6.19 percent delinquency rate during the same period last year and 6.01 percent during the last quarter of 2011, according to the report published by TransUnion.
The same day, Freddie Mac’s former chief credit officer called on both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to charge more to guarantee mortgages when lenders make flawed loans rather than punish banks by demanding repurchases after borrowers default on those loans. Ray Romano suggested the mortgage giants review samples of new loans for defects and then offer more expensive pricing to lenders with higher error rates.