Mortgage Rates Fall Back Near 2014 Lows

As markets reacted to the dismal minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting released Wednesday, rates on long-term mortgage interest rates fell back down near their yearly lows, according to data from Freddie Mac.

The average rate on a 30-year conventional fixed rate mortgage sank to 4.12 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended October 9, 2014, down from 4.19 percent the previous week. Rates are lower than they were last year at the same time when they averaged 4.23 percent.

Other rates fell in the latest week as well. The 15-year conventional fixed rate mortgage carried an average rate of 3.30 percent down from 3.36 percent the week before and down from 3.31 percent the previous year. The rate on the one-year adjustable rate mortgage was unchanged at 2.42 percent, but was down from one year ago when the average was 2.64 percent.

“Fixed mortgage rates were down on a week filled with bleak forward projections from the Federal Reserve and concern over growth in Europe,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Despite gloomy vernacular from the Fed, mortgage purchase applications were up 2 percent on the week and the labor market added 248,000 jobs, beating expectations and lowering headline unemployment to 5.9 percent.”

The Fed minutes from its September meeting revealed that the committee is worried about financial developments overseas as well as the slowdown in the domestic housing market. They wrote that “economic growth might be slower than …expected if foreign economic growth came in weaker than anticipated…or the recovery in residential construction continued to lag.”

The nervousness among investors that this uncertainty is creating is at least good for homebuyers and refinancers, keeping mortgage costs low and attractive.

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