Real Estate Notes

Rates unchanged on 30-year mortgages, staying at 4.37%

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rates on 30-year mortgages this week were unchanged from the previous week, staying slightly above the lowest level in decades.

The average rate for 30-year fixed loans was 4.37 percent, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. Earlier this month, the rate dipped to 4.32 percent, which was the lowest level on records dating back to 1971.

The average rate on 15-year fixed loans also was unchanged at 3.82 percent. That is the lowest on records dating back to 1991.

Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.54 percent, down from 3.55 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to an average of 3.46 percent from 3.4 percent.

Rates have fallen since spring as investors poured money into the safety of Treasury bonds, lowering their yield. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields.

Treasury yields have fallen again in the past few days after the Federal Reserve this week offered a dim view of the economy and left the door open for more steps to stimulate the economy.

However, low mortgage rates have done little to bring homebuyers back to the market as unemployment hovers near a 26-year high.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose 7.6 percent in August, but to the second-worst level in 15 years, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Home prices dropped 3.3 percent in July from a year earlier, the eighth consecutive decline, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported on Wednesday. Banks seized a record 95,364 homes from delinquent borrowers in August, according to RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's loan application index fell 1.4 percent in the week ended Sept. 17 to the lowest level in six weeks. Purchase applications decreased 3.3 percent, while refinancing applications declined 0.9 percent, the MBA said Wednesday.

The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac's survey averaged 0.7 a point for 30-year, 15-year and 1-year mortgages. The average fee was 0.6 of a point for 5-year mortgages.

-- From News Services

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