Mortgage rates slip for sixth straight week

Diane Alter – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter

Arlington, Va., United States (4E) – Mortgage rates have slipped for the sixth consecutive week, hitting all-time record lows in the wake of weak economic and jobs data.

According to a report released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 15-year fixed loan dropped to 2.94 percent, marking the second week in a row it has been under 3 percent and well below its level of 3.68 a year ago.

The 30-year fixed-rate edged down to 3.67 percent from 3.75 percent a week ago. A year ago, it was 4.49 percent.

Both hybrid adjustable-rate averages stayed below the 3 percent fence.

The five-year was unchanged at 2.84 percent, and the one-year rose slightly to 2.79 percent.

Freddie Mac’s CEO said in a statement, “Fixed mortgage rates reached new record lows for the sixth consecutive week as long-term Treasury bond yields declined further following downwardly revised economic growth and job creation data.”

The historic low mortgage rates have lured many homeowners to refinance.

A report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association revealed the number of mortgage applications increased 1.3 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity rose to 78 percent of total applications, the highest refinance share since Feb. 24.

While welcome news, it’s not so good for home sales. Fewer than a quarter of all mortgages these days are used to buy homes.

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