Mortgage Rates Sink to 2-Month Low

A weak jobs report for March sent long-term mortgage interest rates sliding down during the latest week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) hitting a two-month low.

The average rate on a 30-year conventional FRM fell to 3.66 percent with an average point of 0.6, during the week ended April 9, 2015, down from 3.70 percent the week before. Compared with a year ago, the rate is also down from 4.34 percent. The current rate is the lowest it has been since the week of February 5 of this year.

“Mortgage rates fell across the board following last week’s disappointing employment report,” said Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer in a statement. “The US economy added 126,000 new jobs in March, well below market expectations of 247,000 jobs. We did see some uptick in wages, as average hourly earnings increased 7 cents for the month, and are up 2.1 percent over the year. Meanwhile, jobless claims fell sharply to 268,000 this week, much lower than market expectations of 285,000.”

Rates on 15-year FRM loans also dropped, with the average falling to 2.93 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.98 percent the week before. One year earlier the average was much higher at 3.38 percent.

The one-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) made no movement during the past week, unchanged at 2.46 percent with an average 0.4 point. On a year-over-year basis the rate is up slightly from 2.41 percent.

While rates fell because of negative economic news, the lower rates could provide some added gusto to the spring housing market, keeping home loans affordable in the face of rising prices.

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