US average mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 4.45 percent

WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to fall this week, reaching their lowest levels in nine months.

The decline in home borrowing rates in recent weeks has been a spur to prospective homebuyers, reflected in a spike in applications for mortgages. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 4.45 percent this week from 4.51 percent last week.

Rates remain far above last year's levels, however. The key 30-year rate averaged 3.99 percent a year ago.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.89 percent from 3.99 percent last week.

The recent easing of rates has come amid steep declines in the stock market and tumbling interest rates on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note — which influences long-term mortgage rates.

The decline in rates could help boost home sales, which stumbled last year as higher borrowing costs eroded affordability.

Mortgage applications jumped 23.5 percent in the week ended Jan. 4 from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Experts say the rebound in applications followed a slower-than-usual holiday period, and the slide in mortgage rates also prompted a flurry of refinancing, especially by borrowers with larger mortgage loans.

The MBA's refinance index rose 35 percent in the week ended Jan. 4, reaching its highest level since July 2018.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages held steady at 0.4 point.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 3.83 percent from 3.98 percent last week. The fee rose to 0.3 point from 0.2 point.

Related News

Clinton offers plan to prevent 'excessive' drug price hikes

Sep 2, 2016

Hillary Clinton is pledging to better protect patients from steep increases in the cost of drugs

Put it on my card...or not

Sep 4, 2016

What to consider before paying for college tuition with a credit card

ITT Tech shutters all campuses after federal aid sanctions

Sep 6, 2016

The for-profit college chain ITT Educational Services is shutting down its campuses days after the U.S. Department of Education banned it from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid

About PROFIT & COST

Profit and Cost is the personal business & financial assistance for individuals considering to improve their profits and lowering the cost in their everyday life.

Contact us: sales@profitandcost.com