Current Mortgage Rates Still Near Historic Low
The lowest mortgage rates of 2010 were available again during week ending May 20, 2010, according to Freddie Mac. The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 4.84%, an exceptionally low level, and extremely close to the best mortgage rates in recent history.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's survey put the average rate for that sort of mortgage loan at 4.83% during week ending May 14, 2010. A 15-year FRM was, according to the MBA, even cheaper, coming in at just 4.19%.
Lowest Mortgage Rates Make Housing Highly Affordable
Current mortgage rates are part of the reason for the exceptional affordability of housing today. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, published May 20, 2010, found that:
...72.2% of all new and existing homes sold in the first quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $63,800, slightly higher than the previous quarter and near the record-high 72.5% set during the first quarter a year ago.
It has been almost 20 years since home ownership has been within the reach of so many households.
Best Mortgage Rates Behind Housing Optimism, Too?
A busy week for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) saw the organization publish a second document on the current state of the housing market. This reported the consensus among economists (sic!) who participated in a recent NAHB seminar. Apparently, they agreed: "that the housing market is on the road to recovery, but cautioned that several factors could contribute to a bumpy ride in the coming months."
David Crowe, who is the NAHB's chief economist, commented:
...the housing momentum is being carried forward by low interest rates, pent up household formations, stabilizing prices and budding employment growth.
Mortgage Defaults Plateau
May 20's Wall Street Journal reported that the number of borrowers who are behind with their mortgage payments has stopped increasing. At 2.6 million households that are overdue 90 days or more but not yet in foreclosure, it's still an eye-wateringly high figure, but--to mangle Winston Churchill's famous quote--it may signify that we're reaching, if not the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning of the housing market downturn.
Lowest Mortgage Rates Tempting You?
If today's best mortgage rates are tempting you to refinance or buy a home, then be sure to shop around.
Get competitive quotes from some of America's best mortgage lenders here.