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Mortgage rates set new record lows, might hold steady next week

Treasury bond yields, which influence the home-loan rates, have surged since Tuesday.

September 02, 2010|By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

Mortgage rates fell for the 10th time in 11 weeks, setting fresh record lows, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. But a rebound in Treasury yields in the last two days raises the possibility that home-loan interest costs won't fall again next week.

Early this week, lenders were offering interest rates averaging 4.32% on 30-year fixed-rate loans, down from 4.36% a week earlier and the lowest average since Freddie Mac began tracking 30-year rates in 1971. Lenders this week were charging upfront fees averaging 0.7% of the loan amount.

But Treasury bond yields, which influence mortgage rates and which began a sharp slide five months ago because of worries about the economy, have surged since Tuesday along with the stock market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.63% on Thursday, up from a 19-month low of 2.47% on Tuesday.

In early April, the 10-year T-note traded at 3.99%, while 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.21%.

Freddie Mac's weekly survey asks lenders the rates and fees they are offering to borrowers with solid credit and at least 20% of the home's value as a down payment or, for a refinancing, that amount of home equity.

Fifteen-year fixed-rate loans this week averaged 3.83% plus 0.6% in upfront fees, down from 3.86% last week and the lowest since at least 1991.

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