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Economic News

Mortgage rates hit lowest level since Eisenhower’s administration

Macro view of a dollar bill, photo by Alejandro Mallea.

Low, low, low

According to the National Association of Realtors, the 3.5% decline in existing home sales is due in large part to contract cancellations from declined mortgage applications or because of appraised values coming in below the negotiated price, halting the contract.

The bright spot, however, in housing is that despite cancellations and difficult lending, mortgage rates have hit their lowest level in over 50 years.

Freddie Mac’s primary mortgage market survey this week shows 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaging 4.15%, 15-year fixed rate mortgages average 3.36%, 5/1-year adjustable rate mortgages average 3.08% and one-year adjustable rate mortgages average 2.86%.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac said, “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.”

Nothaft notes that refinance applications averaged roughly 70 percent of all mortgage activity in 2011 and refinance volume rose 21.7% in the last week alone.

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Home purchase loans are not exactly skyrocketing, but perhaps applications will rise with the good news of historically low rates despite difficulties in getting a loan to the closing table.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Manhattan Beach Realtor

    August 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    And the system continues to punish savers…

    In a healthy economy, low rates are an indication that there's a surplus of savings competing for allocation opportunities. Savers actually compete with each other, driving down rates to be more competitive, because the future is deemed bright.

    What we have now is a forced low rate environment by the Federal Reserve, as a matter of policy, which punishes savers and will ultimately deprive them of those savings by debasing the currency in which they are denominated.

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