Mortgage rates ease again

Demand for purchase loans, refinancing rebounds

Mortgage rates eased again this week according to a survey by Freddie Mac, as fears about the economic impacts of turmoil in the Middle East helped depress yields on long-term bonds, including those that fund most home loans.

A separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for refinancing and purchase loans rebounding last week as borrowers sought to take advantage of the reversal in mortgage rates.

Rates had been marching steadily upwards this year on expectations of continued economic growth and fears that government borrowing will fuel inflation.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.95 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Feb. 24, Freddie Mac said, down from 5 percent last week and 5.05 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 4.17 percent during the week ending Nov. 11.