US mortgage rates decline to near record lowsThe Associated Press | December 28,2012WASHINGTON — The average rate on the U.S. 30-year fixed mortgage last week dipped closer to the lowest on record, a trend that is making home buying more affordable and also enabling more Americans to refinance their loans.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year loan declined to 3.35 percent from 3.37 percent last week. That’s not far from the 3.31 percent rate of about a month ago, the lowest on records dating to 1971.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 2.65 percent. The record low is 2.63 percent.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.66 percent this year, Freddie Mac said, the lowest annual average in 65 years.
Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said the average 30-year rate has fallen 0.6 percentage points this year. That would save a homeowner about $98,000 in interest payments over the life of a $200,000 loan, he said.
The Federal Reserve is purchasing about $85 billion each month in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities in an effort to push down long-term interest rates.
In a separate report, the Commerce Department said that sales of new homes jumped 4.4 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000. That is the fastest pace in more than two and a half years and the latest sign the housing recovery is sustainable.
Low mortgage rates and steady hiring gains have encouraged more people to buy homes. Home owners may also put their homes up for sale if they feel confident they can sell at a good price.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans was also unchanged at 0.7 point.
The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage ticked down to 2.70 percent from 2.71 percent last week. The fee was also unchanged at 0.7 point.
The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.56 percent from 2.52 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable-rate loans rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.MORE IN National / World BusinessNEW YORK — Brooklyn Roasting Co. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Ever wonder why the otherwise straight-lined Appalachian chain's got a big crimp in it in Pennsylvania and and New York?
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Scott Milne opens campaign for governor's office, crime statistics fall in city, new home for homeless prevention center, traffic cameras are not watching you, capital panel hears testimony about protecting children.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: America's feet getting bigger than ever, and Americans keep jamming their feet into small sized shoes. Wake up, America!
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Vanessa Williams resigns from Miss America pageant after Bob Guccione publishes nude photos of her in Penthouse magazine and Hefner takes the high road; on this day in 1995, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp discover a new comet.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Brandon voters decide fate of proposed budget, calls to police for service on complaints have fallen to new low, city woman who spray painted a response to vandals on her sidewalk is cited for mischief.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: When all the big mammals are rubbed out and a faint geologic memory, rats the size of human beings will stalk the Earth.