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30-year mortgage rates level off at 4.5%

The average interest rate on 30-year home loans edged up to 4.5% from 4.49% last week. The rate is down from 4.91% in mid-April.

June 17, 2011|By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
  • A sign is posted on a fence in front of a newly constructed home April 25 in Danville, Calif. Housing affordability is relatively high, but not consumer confidence, a Freddie Mac economist says.
A sign is posted on a fence in front of a newly constructed home April 25 in… (David Paul Morris, Getty…)

Mortgage rates leveled off this week after falling for eight weeks in a row, according to a Freddie Mac survey of lenders.

The average interest rate on 30-year home loans edged up to 4.5% from 4.49% last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The rate is down from 4.91% in mid-April.

The average for a 15-year fixed loan fell a notch to 3.67% from 3.68%.

For both term lengths, upfront fees averaged 0.7% of the amount being borrowed.

Freddie Mac's survey asks lenders the rates they are offering to people with good credit and a down payment of at least 20%, or at least that much home equity for a loan refinancing.

Initial rates on adjustable-rate loans, for borrowers willing to assume more risk, are "at or near record lows," Freddie Mac economist Frank Nothaft said in a report this week.

For loans that become adjustable after five years based on market Treasury yields, starting rates averaged 3.27% this week, with 0.6% in lender fees, down from last week's 3.28%.

Treasury-indexed loans that adjust once a year averaged 2.97% with 0.5% in lender fees, up from last week's 2.95%.

With rates so low and home prices falling again in many areas, housing affordability is relatively high — but not so consumer confidence these days, Nothaft said.

"Some potential buyers who have the means to buy are awaiting clearer signs that home values have firmed," he wrote.

scott.reckard@latimes.com

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