Best Mortgage Rates in 50 Years as Records Shattered

Posted by  on Oct 12, 2010

Best Mortgage Rates Now

As Freddie Mac published its mortgage loan rate survey for week ending June 24, it emerged that record lows had been set across the board, except for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). National average commitment rates for other loans were:

  • 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs)--4.69 percent with fees and points at 0.7
  • 15-year FRMs--4.13 percent with fees and points at 0.6
  • Five/one year ARMs--3.84 percent with fees and points at 0.7
  • One-year ARMs--3.77 percent with fees and points at 0.7

The extent to which these--the lowest mortgage rates since reliable and standardized records began--are exceptional can be seen from a glance at Freddie Mac's archives. These reveal that, in the last 30 years, mortgage rates for 30-year FRMs have on many occasions been in excess of 10 percent, and one month averaged 17.60 percent.

Mortgage Applications Down

However, even the best mortgage rates don't always translate into demand for home loans. The day before Freddie Mac published its figures, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Although this covered a period--week ending June 18--before the record lows, rates were still just a hair's breadth away from today's.

And yet the MBA figures show a dip in mortgage applications both from those who wish to purchase and to refinance. It's true that activity in the two indices had jumped the previous week, but the four-week rolling average was down.

Refinancing Revival?

Of course, it may well be that refinancings will bounce back in response to current mortgage rates. After all, people with refinance in mind don't have one eye on house prices--as buyers do--and are driven entirely by the savings they can make on their existing loans.

So should those thinking of refinancing act now? Well, as has previously been pointed out in these articles, predicting rates is a mugs game, and there are no certainties. But the Associated Press recently pointed out that the last time home loan rates were this low was in the mid-1950s, and the lowest they reached then was around 4.6 percent. That's only 0.09 percent lower than current mortgage rates, so the chances of a significantly better deal arising in this credit cycle could prove remote.

Compare Mortgage Quotes

If you think that there's little point in further delaying your refinance application, you can compare mortgage quotes here.


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