Industry News

Low rates poised to fuel year-end home sales

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Mortgage rates declined for the second consecutive week, boosting the outlook for new- and existing-home sales, according to Freddie Mac weekly mortgage survey. Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.64 percent for the week ended today, down from last week when it averaged 5.69 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.01 percent, also down from last week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Points on both the 30- and 15-year averaged 0.7. One-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.96 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when they averaged 4.02 percent. "Home sales are very sensitive to mortgage rates," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "Low mortgage rates drove the uptick in sales during September. And with mortgage rates at their lowest level in six months, home sales should continue strong through the autumn months. "Our latest forecast expects a brisk housing ...