Mortgage rates fall, reaching nearly three-year low



Mortgage rates dipped slightly to a nearly three-year low because of concern about a potential global economic slowdown and some weak home sale news.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average fell to 3.75 percent with an average 0.5 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount and are in addition to the interest rate.) It was 3.81 percent a week ago and 4.54 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average declined to 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.23 percent a week ago and 4.02 percent a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average dropped to 3.47 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 3.48 percent a week ago and 3.87 percent a year ago.

“This is good news for buyers, particularly when you compare rates to a year ago,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor . com. “Based on a typical listing of $316,000 with a 20 percent down payment, buyers today would pay $112 less for their principal and interest than they did a year ago.”

However, she said, that doesn't account for rising home prices.

“If you factor in the higher price that buyers are paying this year compared to a year ago, you’re still looking at a savings of $48 per month compared to what buyers would have paid for the average house at this time last year,” Hale said.

On the other hand, she said, falling mortgage rates can be an indication of a weaker economy, which could have a negative impact on the housing market going forward. Read more




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