Freddie Mac says that the average rate of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.44% in the week ending Aug. 12, down from 4.49% the previous week and from 5.29% the same period last year. The government-sponsored enterprise stated this was the lowest rate since it began compiling its 30-year fixed-rate survey in 1971.
Freddie Mac also reported that its 15-year fixed-rate mortgage for this week averaged a record low of 3.92%, down from last week, when it averaged 3.95%. One year ago, the rate averaged 4.68%
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist, says the record-low rates are a harbinger of good news.
‘Low rates are helping to heal many battered local housing markets by increasing home-purchase activity,’ he says. ‘The National Association of Realtors reported that 65 percent of the 155 metropolitan areas they track experienced yearly increases in the second quarter of this year. This compares to 60 percent of areas in the first quarter and only 44 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.’
SOURCE: Freddie Mac