Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to a two-month low this week following a recent announcement from the Fed that it would not begin to wind down its bond-buying program.
Rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.32 percent with an average point of 0.7 percent for the week ending Sept. 26, down from 4.5 percent last week but up from 3.4 percent a year ago, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
“Mortgage rates fell following the Federal Reserve announcement that it will maintain its bond-buying stimulus,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist, in a statement. “These low rates should somewhat offset the house price gains seen the last number of months and keep housing affordability elevated.”
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans and one-year Treasury-indexed ARMs also fell.
Pending Home Sales, down 1.6% for August. Observers said rising interest rates were partially to blame for the dip in this measure of contracts signed but not yet closed on existing homes. But national average mortgage rates have dropped the last two weeks with the Fed’s announcement it would continue buying mortgage bonds, which should boost bond prices and keep rates low. Also helping us persevere is the fact Pending Home Sales are still up 5.8% for the year.
Further encouragement came from single-family New Home Sales, up 7.9% in August and 12.6% year-over-year. They’re now at a 421,000 annual rate, not where they need to be, but rebounding strongly. There were also signs of continued success for home prices. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index was up 0.62% in July, its 18th consecutive monthly gain, with all 20 metros ahead. Its 12.39% annual gain was its biggest since early 2006. The FHFA price index of homes financed with conforming loans was up 1% in July, also gaining 18 months in a row, and up 8.8% annually.
Source: Freddie Mac