Mortgage rates hit low for the year on economic worries including housing

Purchase loan demand at highest level since January
Published on May 8, 2014 | Updated on Jun 4, 2014

Mortgage rates hit a new low for the year this week as worries about the economy made relatively safe investments like Treasury notes and mortgage-backed securities look more attractive to investors.One of those economic worries is housing -- Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told lawmakers this week that housing activity has been "disappointing so far this year and will bear watching" -- but mortgage rates remain low by historic standards.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.21 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending May 8, down from 4.29 percent last week but up from 3.42 percent a year ago, according to the latest weekly survey by Freddie Mac.Mortgage rates followed 10-year Treasury yields down "after a dismal report on real GDP growth in the first quarter," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft in a statement.Looking back a week, a separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for purchase mortgages during...