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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 07/26/2012

Mortgage rates persist on their downward course

Another week, another record-low mortgage rate. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the mortgage rates persisted on their downward course this week.

The 30-year fixed-rate average, which has been under 4 percent all but one week this year, fell to a historic-low 3.49 percent, down from 3.53 last week. That’s more than a full percentage point lower than it was a year ago when it averaged 4.55 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate average sank to 2.80 percent, down from 2.83 last week and 3.66 percent a year ago. The 15-year rate, popular among those looking to refinance, has lingered below 3 percent for nine consecutive weeks.

The hybrid adjustable rate mortgages also remained below 3 percent again this week, though they both rose slightly. The one-year ARM was up from last week, increasing to 2.71 percent from 2.69 percent. It was 2.95 percent a year ago.

The five-year ARM also went up, going to 2.74 percent from 2.69 percent. Last year, it was 3.25 percent.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, pointed to the Conference Board Leading Economic Index, which showed the largest montly decline in June since September 2011, as well as the drop in existing home sales and new home sales as factors for the rates continued fall.

“Market concerns over the strength of the economic recovery brought long-term Treasury yields to new lows this week allowing fixed mortgage rates to reach record levels,” Nothaft said in a statement.  

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications increased slightly, driven by the highest level of refinance applications in three years.

The Market Composite Index, which measures loan application volume, went up just 0.9 percent. The Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week, while the Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week to its highest level since April 19, 2009.

The refinance share accounts for 81 percent of total applications.

More Real Estate news

New home sales fell in June to 350,000

Washington area median home values are back to May 2004 levels

Foreign interest in Washington area housing market bucks trend

June existing-home prices rise, but sales are down

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 07/26/2012

 
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