Industry NewsMortgage

Uncertainty, QE3 push mortgage rates to new lows

Demand for purchase loans rebounding after Hurricane Sandy

With U.S. lawmakers heading toward the edge of the "fiscal cliff," government-backed mortgage bonds that fund the vast majority of home loans are looking like a safe haven for investors, helping push mortgage rates to new lows.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Nov. 15, down from 3.4 percent last week and 4 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.That's a new low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971. In the four decades that Freddie Mac has conducted the mortgage market survey, rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans had never been below 4 percent until last year.The survey showed rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 2.65 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 2.69 percent last week and 3.31 percent a year ago. That's also a new record in Freddie Mac records dating to 1991.For five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mo...