Average rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low this week. Learn more about this and other real estate market trends.
Average rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages hit a record low of 2.56 percent this week, erasing last week’s record of 2.61 percent, according to the latest real estate market trends from Freddie Mac. Average rates for 30-year, fixed rate mortgages were 3.35 percent this week – just .04 percent off the record low of 3.31 percent set in November of 2012.
Mortgage rates have trended down for five consecutive weeks in anticipation of disappointing economic growth for the first quarter of 2012, according to Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, which was established by Congress in 1970 to provide mortgage capital to lenders. The nation’s gross domestic product grew by 2.5 percent, but fell short of forecasts.
In other record real estate market trends reported this week, home ownership rates fell to historic lows. Click here to learn more.
Low mortgage rates may help boost GDP over the coming months, Nothaft said, as the housing sector becomes an increasingly important driver of economic growth. “Residential fixed investment added to overall economic growth over the past eight consecutive quarters and contributed more than 0.3 percentage points in growth over the past three months of the year.”
Scant inventor of available homes for sale may constrain home sales in 2013. Click here to glean the latest real estate market trends for pending sales.
The National Association of Home Builders credits the housing sector for contributing roughly 15 percent of total economic growth for the first quarter of 2013. “While the economy as a whole has slowed somewhat over the last year, the expansion of home building has picked up steam,” according to today’s Eye on Housing blog, a commentary on real estate market trends provided by the association.
In related real estate trends, mortgage applications increased a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent in the week ending April 26, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this week. Refinanced mortgages accounted for 75 percent of total applications, unchanged from the previous week.