Mortgage rates plunge as investors yank money out of stocks

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.