Fixed mortgage rates
were mostly unchanged this week, hovering near yearly lows.Â The average rate on the 30-year loan held steady at 4.50%, Freddie Mac
said Thursday. It hit 4.49% two weeks ago, the lowest level this year.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, popular for
refinancing, inched up to 3.69%. Last week it reached a yearly low of
Rates typically track the yield on the
10-year Treasury note. That yield has been dropping in recent weeks
based on weak data that points to a slower economy.
Low mortgage rates and falling home
prices have done little to boost the troubled housing markets. Tougher
lending standards and bigger down payment requirements have prevented
many people from taking advantage of the ultra-low rates. Many people
who can qualify are holding off, worried that prices have yet to bottom
Fewer people purchased previously
occupied homes in May. Sales fell to their lowest level of the year.
Since the housing market went bust in 2006, sales have fallen in four
of the past five years and hit a 13-year low last year.
New-home sales fell last month to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 319,000 homes. That's far below the
700,000 homes per year that economists say must be sold to sustain a
healthy housing market.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
said Wednesday that the housing market is dragging down the broader
economy. For the market to recover, he said foreclosures must be
cleared from the pipeline of homes for sale.
Most economists say home prices will keep
falling through the rest of the year. Many forecasts don't anticipate a
rebound in prices until at least 2013.
To calculate average mortgage rates,
Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the country on Monday
through Wednesday of each week. Rates often fluctuate significantly,
even within a single day.
The average rate on a five-year
adjustable rate mortgage fell from 3.27% to 3.25%, the lowest rate on
records dating back to 2005. The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate loan
rose to 2.99%, slightly above the record low of 2.95%.
The rates do not include the extra fees known as points. One point is equal to 1% of the total loan amount.
average fees rose to 0.8% from 0.7% for the 30-year fixed loan,
according to Freddie Mac's survey. They were flat at 0.7% for the
15-year fixed loan, the survey found. The average fees for the
five-year and one-year ARM were unchanged at 0.6 % and 0.5%,
Michael Thomson is a full time Realtor with
the Keller Williams Sunset Strip Office.Â He has lived in Los Angeles
for 20 years and specializes in the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, West
Hollywood, Hancock Park and Beverly Center-Miracle Mile areas.Â Feel
free to call for questions at 310-927-8422 or visit the website at CityHomesLA .