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30-year fixed-rate mortgages dip below 5% again

The average interest in a Freddie Mac survey of lenders is 4.98%, down from 5.03% a week ago. The fixed rate on a 15-year mortgage drops slightly to 4.4%.

November 06, 2009|E. Scott Reckard

The average interest rate on traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell back below 5% this week, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The mortgage giant's statement was based on its survey of lenders, the second such industry survey in two days to show the rate below 5%, which has become a psychological trigger for homeowners refinancing mortgages.

A Mortgage Bankers Assn. report Wednesday said applications to refinance home loans jumped last week as the average home-loan rate fell to less than 5%.

Freddie Mac's survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday, showed borrowers with good credit and a 20% equity stake in their home got 30-year loans of $417,000 or less at an average fixed rate of 4.98%. The borrowers paid an average of 0.7% of the loan amount in upfront fees to the lender, the usual cost reflected in the Freddie Mac survey.

The average rate was down from 5.03% last week and from 6.2% a year ago.

In the Western region of the country, which includes California, borrowers were "buying down" the average rate to 4.91% by paying 0.9% in upfront fees.

Fixed rates on 15-year traditional mortgages this week averaged 4.4% nationwide, Freddie Mac said, down from 4.46% last week and 5.88% a year ago. Borrowers paid an average of 0.6% in upfront costs for those loans.


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