Mortgage rates plunge as investors yank money out of stocks

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Fears that Europe’s faltering economy will create drag for the rest of the world have wreaked havoc in stock markets, and mortgage rates have plunged as investors seek a safer place to park their money — namely, bonds and mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage quotes on Zillow Mortgages

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Mortgage rates quoted on Zillow Mortgages for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 14. Source: Zillow.com.

Bond yields and bond prices move in opposite directions, so investor demand pushes prices up and yields down. Rates quoted on Zillow Mortgages to buyers looking for 30-year fixed-rate home loans were at their lowest in 16 months today, averaging 3.81 percent. That’s down from close to 4 percent just a week ago. Source: zillow.com.