August 5, 2010 LA Times, E. Scott Reckard
Record low mortgage rates are still declining, according to Freddie Mac, which said lenders were offering 30-year fixed loans at less than 4.5% this week and 15-year loans at less than 4%.
Freddie’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, noted that the rate of growth in the gross domestic product had been revised downward, reducing fears about inflation and as a result decreasing pressures on long-term interest rates.
Reporting a seventh straight week of declines, Freddie Mac said the 30-year rate averaged 4.49% for the week ending Thursday, down from 4.54% last week and 5.22% a year earlier.
On home loans with rates fixed for 15 years, the interest rate averaged 3.95%, down from an even 4% a week earlier and 4.63% a year earlier.
The interest rate for the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage — that’s the one that turns variable after five years at a fixed rate — averaged 3.63% this week, down from 3.76% a week earlier and 4.73% a year ago.
Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored buyer of home loans, asks lenders about the rates they are offering on mortgages up to $417,000 to borrowers who are good credit risks. The borrowers would have paid 0.7% of the loan balance to the lenders in upfront fees and points, Freddie said.
Solid borrowers who shop around often find slightly better rates than those published in the survey.