Rates for most types of mortgages tracked by Freddie Mac hit record lows this week, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 4.69 percent with an average of 0.7 point for the week ending June 24.
That’s down from 4.75 percent last week and 5.42 percent a year ago, and beats the previous record set of 4.71 percent set during the week of Dec. 3. Freddie Mac has been tracking rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans since 1971.
Turmoil in financial markets has made mortgage-backed securities that fund most home loans attractive to investors. That, coupled with slack demand for mortgages, has helped keep rates low.
Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also hit a new low in records dating to 1991, dipping to 4.13 percent with an average 0.6 point. That’s down from 4.2 percent last week and 4.87 percent a year ago.
Rates on 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 3.84 percent this week, a new low in records dating to January 2005. The 5-year ARM averaged 3.89 percent last week and 4.87 percent a year ago.
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.77 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.82 percent last week and 4.93 percent a year ago. That wasn’t a record, but was the lowest rate for 1-year ARMs since May 2004.
Rates surveyed by Freddie Mac are for prime borrowers taking out loans with 20 percent downpayments. Borrowers taking out loans too large or risky for purchase or guarantee by Freddie Mac can expect to pay more.
Low rates haven’t spurred demand for purchase loans or refinancing. Home sales cooled after the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit, and many borrowers who would benefit by refinancing into a loan with a lower rate already have.
A weekly survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for loans fell a seasonally adjusted 5.9 percent during the week ending June 18, with demand for purchase loans falling 2.3 percent and demand for refinancings down 7.3 percent.
In a June 11 forecast, MBA economists said they expect rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will gradually rise to an average of 5.4 percent during the fourth quarter of this year, averaging 6 percent in the last three months of 2011 and 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.