Mortgage rates below historic four point mark again – will this last?

Record lows this week

Just as we saw over Thanksgiving, mortgage rates have dropped below the historic four point mark again, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey which cites the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage currently at 3.94 percent.

The survey notes that the 15 year fixed rate mortgage rate hit a new record low of 3.21 percent, dropping below the October 6 record set, and that the 5 year adjustable rate mortgage average is 2.86 percent, also dropping to near historic lows.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft believes low interest rate mortgages will be available through at least the middle of 2012 while Trulia’s Chief Economist, Dr. Jed Kolko predicts that rates will increase in 2012 as employment levels improve and defaults decline.

With low rates and low prices in housing, the Realtor moniker of “it’s always a good time to buy” might actually ring true right now for the consumers that can qualify for a loan and afford a down payment.

Most mortgage volume right now is refinance loans, however, which looks to remain the case in 2012. The Mortgage Banker’s Association cites that last week’s mortgage applications consisted of nearly 80 percent refinances, and although application volume rose 4.1 percent last week, the primary interest remains in refinancing as the rates hover around 4 percent.


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