Mortgage rates hit another record low

U.S. mortgage rates fell for the second straight week to the lowest level in five decades, as a refinancing boomlet took hold.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) average 4.57 percent, down from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent. That’s the lowest level since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.20 percent.

“With mortgage rates falling to historic lows, refinance activity has been strong over the past three months,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the effective mortgage rate of all loans outstanding was just below 6 percent in the first quarter of 2010, the lowest since the series began in 1977. Since the start of the second quarter, two out of three mortgage applications on average were for refinancing, according the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.07 percent, up from last week when it averaged 4.04 percent. That was the lowest on records dating to September 1991. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.69 percent.

Average rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.75 percent from 3.80 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount. The nationwide fee for all types of loans in Freddie Mac’s survey averaged 0.7 a point.

© Florida Realtors

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