Under 4% now: 30-year mortgage rate hits record low

WASHINGTON – The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage this week fell below 4% for the first time ever, to 3.94%. 

For those who can qualify, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to buy or refinance. And mortgage rates could fall even further now that the Federal Reserve plans to reshuffle its portfolio of securities to try and lower long-term rates.

On Thursday, Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped from 4.01% last week, the previous low. The average rate on a 15-year fixed loan, a popular refinancing option, dipped to 3.26%, also a record.

Still, rates have been below 5% for all but two weeks in the past year and have done little to boost home sales. This year is shaping up to be among the worst for sales of previously occupied homes in 14 years.

Many people are reluctant to take the risk in this market. High unemployment, scant pay raises and heavy debt loads are deterring many would-be buyers…read more

 

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