US average mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 4.45 percent

In this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, photo a sign is displayed outside a house for sale in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood. Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, on Thursday, Jan. 10, releases weekly mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to fall this week, reaching their lowest levels in nine months.

The decline in home borrowing rates in recent weeks has been a spur to prospective homebuyers, reflected in a spike in applications for mortgages. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 4.45 percent this week from 4.51 percent last week.

Rates remain far above last year's levels, however. The key 30-year rate averaged 3.99 percent a year ago.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.89 percent from 3.99 percent last week.

The recent easing of rates has come amid steep declines in the stock market and tumbling interest rates on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note — which influences long-term mortgage rates.

The decline in rates could help boost home sales, which stumbled last year as higher borrowing costs eroded affordability.

Mortgage applications jumped 23.5 percent in the week ended Jan. 4 from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Experts say the rebound in applications followed a slower-than-usual holiday period, and the slide in mortgage rates also prompted a flurry of refinancing, especially by borrowers with larger mortgage loans.

The MBA's refinance index rose 35 percent in the week ended Jan. 4, reaching its highest level since July 2018.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages held steady at 0.4 point.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 3.83 percent from 3.98 percent last week. The fee rose to 0.3 point from 0.2 point.

Must Read

With father in tow, Kaine seeks support from...

Aug 23, 2016

Tasked with shoring up union support for Hillary Clinton, running mate Tim Kaine turned Monday to...

US new-home sales climb to best level since late...

Aug 23, 2016

US sales of new homes soared 12.4 percent in July to best level since October 2007

Investors to seek any hint of Yellen timetable on...

Aug 26, 2016

Investors to seek any hint in Yellen speech of a timetable for next rate hikes

Iowa at center of debate over 'shadow insurance'...

Aug 30, 2016

Life insurance companies are setting up "shadow insurers" to take on some of their liabilities and...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on immigration

Sep 1, 2016

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's day of clarification on immigration policy did not always hew to the actual...

Sign up now!

About Us

In The Headline sought to bring professionalism back into journalism, bringing you only the most exclusive and the most impactive news from all over the globe.

Contact us: sales[at]intheheadline.com