- Record-Low Long-term Mortgages Are Helping to Brighten Economic Outlook
The average US rates on fixed mortgages recently fell steeply and moved closer to historic lows, a shift favored by many in the mortgage marketplace. Freddie Mac, one of the country’s largest mortgage buyers, announced Thursday, April 11th, 2013, that the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.43 percent from 3.54 percent the previous week. These figures are very close to the 3.31 percent that was reached in November 2012, which also represented the lowest percentage recorded since 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage also dipped to 2.65 percent from 2.74 percent the previous week with figures only slightly above the record low of 2.63 percent in 1971.
- Waiting for Relaxed Mortgage Lending Standards
The United States government has been very proactive in terms of stimulating mortgage lending activity since the disastrous collapse of the credit markets in 2008. Mortgage interest rates have been pushed down to historical low levels through the Treasury's Operation Twist and the third round of quantitative easing (QE3), which makes the government a major investor in mortgage-backed bonds. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) now guarantee almost all mortgages originated in the U.S. these days, The White House is very involved in foreclosure prevention and mitigation programs.
- Lower Rates Benefit Richer Homeowners
The Federal Reserve’s policy of buying mortgage-backed securities to keep mortgage rates low may be bolstering upper tier home values rather than helping to make homeownership more affordable for entry-level buyers.