The Washington Post

Mortgage rates hold steady at all-time lows

In this Feb. 13, 2012 photo, a builder works on a new single-family home in North Andover, Mass. U.S. homebuilders are gradually growing more optimistic about the depressed housing market and believe homes sales could pick up sharply at the beginning of 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Elise Amendola/AP)

Mortgage rates remained unchanged for the second consecutive week, holding steady this week at an all-time low of 3.87 percent for the average 30-year fixed rate, according to the latest Freddie Mac Mortgage Market survey released Thursday.

The 30-year has hovered at that mark since the beginning of the month and has stayed below 4.00 percent for the past 11 weeks. During the same week of 2011, the average was significantly higher at 5.00 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate also clung to its previous week’s average of 3.16 percent, down from 4.27 during the same week of 2011.

The rates remained unchanged in the wake of a mix of positive and negative economic inidicators released over the past few days, according to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. On one hand, the National Federation of Independent Business’ small business confidence index increased by a small margin, as did homebuilder confidence measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

“However, the Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell in February by more than the market consensus forecast breaking a five month trend,” Nothaft said.

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.



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