Mortgage Rates Now at 50-Year Low

by Chicago Agent

According to a just-released survey from Freddie Mac, mortgage rates are at an all-time low.

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey today, which shows both fixed and adjustable mortgage rates are reaching all-time record lows, providing even further incentive for homeowners looking to refinance.

In the survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.15 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending August 18, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.32 percent. The 4.15 rate is the lowest on record, breaking the previous record low of 4.17 percent set Nov. 11, 2010.

Several other rates were also down: the 15-year FRM averaged 3.36 percent, down from last week when it averaged 3.50 percent and last year when it averaged 3.90 percent; the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.08 percent, down from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent and last year when it averaged 3.56 percent; and, one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.86 percent, down from last week when it averaged 2.89 percent and last year when it averaged 3.53 percent.

Frank Nothaft, the vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, commented on the record lows: “The Federal Reserve’s policy statement last week and ongoing market concerns over the European debt market carried momentum into this week allowing all mortgage products in our survey to reach all-time record lows. For instance, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are now the lowest in over 50 years. In comparison, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated the average effective mortgage rate was about 5.3 percent on single-family loans outstanding during the second quarter of 2011.

“Not surprising, many homeowners took advantage of this low mortgage rate environment and have already refinanced their loans. The refinance share of applications averaged nearly 70 percent of all mortgage activity in the first half of this year, according to our survey. In addition, an increasing share of refinancing borrowers chose to shorten their loan terms during the second quarter,” according to Freddie Mac’s Quarterly Product Transition Report.

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