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30-year mortgage rates edge down to new low

Freddie Mac says lenders are offering 30-year loans at an average of 4.57%, down from 4.58% last week, the lowest rate in the 39-year history of the mortgage giant's weekly survey.

July 09, 2010|By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

The average cost for a 30-year fixed-rate loan edged down to a fresh record low this week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

Lenders told the mortgage giant they were offering 30-year loans at an average of 4.57%, with upfront fees averaging 0.7% of the loan amount.

The rate, down from 4.58% last week and 5.2% last year at this time, was the lowest in the 39-year history of Freddie Mac's weekly survey.

The average for 15-year fixed-rate loans, however, rose to 4.07% from 4.04%.

Mortgage rates have been falling in recent months along with yields on Treasury bonds, which have been pushed down as investors have sought the perceived safety of U.S. government debt. The benchmark 10-year Treasury bond's yield fell below 3% last week, closing Tuesday at 2.93%, a 14-month low. It has since rebounded to 3.03%.

For mortgages on which the rate is fixed for five years before becoming variable, the average initial rate fell to 3.75% from 3.79%, taking it to the lowest level since 2005, when Freddie Mac began tracking the popular loan option.

For adjustable mortgages with a fixed rate for one year, the initial rate averaged 3.75%, down from 3.8%.

Well-qualified borrowers who shop around or agree to pay higher upfront fees, known as points, often can get better rates than those in the survey.

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