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Mortgage rates again set new lows

The 30-year fixed-rate loan dropped to an average of 4.19%, and the 15-year fell to 3.62%, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey.

October 15, 2010|By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

Mortgage interest rates continued their descent into record territory this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate loan dropping to an average of 4.19% from 4.27% last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.62% from 3.72%, according to the giant home finance company's weekly survey of rates offered by lenders to low-risk borrowers.

The latest averages are the lowest recorded by the survey, which began tracking 30-year rates in 1971 and 15-year rates in 1991.

To get the offered rates, borrowers this week were being required to pay upfront lender fees averaging 0.8% of the loan amount on a 30-year loan and 0.7% on a 15-year mortgage.

The last time average rates on popular long-term fixed-rate mortgages were this low was April 1951, Freddie Mac noted, citing a compilation of historical data on Federal Housing Administration loans. Most long-term mortgages back then, however, were for 20 or 25 years.

Homeowners have taken notice. Applications to refinance homes jumped 21% last week to the fastest pace since April 2009, according to the Mortgage Bankers Assn.

Freddie Mac's survey asks lenders nationwide to report the rates they are offering to well-qualified borrowers who put down at least a 20% down payment or who have that much equity in the homes if they are refinancing.

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