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Tag Archives: Mortgage Rates

Homeownership Remains Low Despite Decreasing Burden of Owning

Despite the recent declines in homeownership, the cost burden of owning a home decreased in 2011 and has ""fallen substantially for young owners during the last four years,"" Fannie Mae stated in a recent report. When measuring housing cost burden, analysts often look for households paying more than 30 percent of their gross income in housing costs, which analysts define as rental or mortgage payments combined with utility spending. In 2011, the percentage of homeowners who fell into this category decreased by about one percentage point. In contrast, the number of renters in this category grew.

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Freddie Mac Reports New Record Lows for Fixed Rates

Fixed mortgage rates dropped to all-time record lows amid indicators of higher consumer confidence and lower wholesale prices, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. According to the survey, the rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.34 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending November 15. The previous low record for the 30-year fixed was 3.36 percent, set the week of October 4 this year. The 15-year fixed average also fell to a new low, dipping to 2.65 percent (0.7 point) from 2.69 percent the week before.

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Freddie Mac: 29% of Q3 Refinancers Opt for Shorter Loan Term

In the third quarter of this year, 29 percent of borrowers who refinanced opted for a shorter loan term, while only 3 percent chose a mortgage with a longer term, according to data from Freddie Mac. Most borrowers—68 percent—decided to maintain the same term on their loan.

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NAR Makes Forecast on Housing, Economy

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) offered market projections into 2014 during a forum at the 2012 Realtors Conference and Expo. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says he expects the market share of distressed sales to fall from about 25 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in 2014, according to a release on the forum. The housing recovery was expected to continue so long as credit does not further tighten and a fiscal cliff is avoided.

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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Near Record Lows

It's been a tumultuous couple of weeks for Americans, but mortgage rates have been rock-steady. Freddie Mac reported mixed rate movements for the week ending November 8, but any budges made were small. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) for the week was 3.40 percent (0.7 point), up slightly from 3.39 percent in the previous week's survey. The 15-year fixed average fell, meanwhile, dropping to 2.69 percent (0.7 point) from 2.70 percent previously.

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Fixed Rates Begin Month with Small Decrease

Fixed mortgage rates fell back slightly to start November as investors anxiously wait for signs of which direction the economy is headed. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.39 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending November 1, down from 3.41 percent in the previous week. The 15-year fixed average for the week was 2.70 percent (0.7 point), a slip from 2.72 percent in the last survey. Bankrate.com's weekly survey also demonstrated decreases all around.

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SIGTARP Advises Discontinued Use of LIBOR

The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program is advising Treasury to discontinue use of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a benchmark for interest rates on TARP programs. ""Continued use of LIBOR for TARP while it is broken, unreliable, and remains potentially subject to manipulation undermines public confidence in financial markets and TARP and could put taxpayers at risk,"" SIGTARP stated in its quarterly report.

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Fixed Rates Barely Budge

Mortgage rate movement this week was ""so slight it was almost nonexistent,"" according to data from Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com. Freddie Mac's survey showed a bit of movement in fixed rates, with the 30-year fixed averaging 3.41 percent (0.7 point), up from 3.37 percent in the previous survey. The 15-year fixed averaged 2.72 percent (0.6 point), up from 2.66 percent. Bankrate's weekly survey revealed even smaller changes: The 30-year fixed dropped to 3.61 percent from 3.62 percent last week, while the 15-year fixed slid to 2.90 percent from 2.91 percent before.

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FOMC Maintains Policy Stance to Hold Down Rates

Pointing to slow employment growth and an ""elevated"" unemployment rate, the Federal Open Market Committee said Wednesday the Federal Reserve ""will continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month."" At the same time, the FOMC said it would maintain the target federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and said the ""exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015.""

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Consumers in No Rush to Borrow in Extended Low Rate Environment

The Federal Reserve's recently-announced commitment to keep interest rates low until 2015 isn't doing much to persuade consumers to borrow, according to Bankrate's Financial Security Index for October. Seventy-four percent of consumers said they are not interested in taking on debt, while 23 percent said they are more inclined to borrow. Three percent said they did not know. While the Fed's announcement was intended to stimulate economic activity, it may have had the opposite effect, one expert told Bankrate.

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