Workers carry lumber into a house under construction in Rancho Santa Fe… (Sam Hodgson / Bloomberg )
The benchmark 30-year mortgage rate dropped this week to an average of 3.35%, its lowest rate in four months and within a whisper of its record low of 3.31% in fall, Freddie Mac said Thursday.
The 15-year fixed mortgage, popular with homeowners refinancing loans, set a record low for the second straight week, falling from 2.61% to 2.56%, Freddie said in its weekly tally of what lenders are offering to solid borrowers.
The long-running survey recorded an all-time record low of 3.31% for the 30-year fixed loan on Nov. 21, which rose to 3.63% on March 14, and has since tailed off amid a weak economic recovery and little sign that inflation is a concern. It was at an even 3.4% last week.
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The low rates have been engineered as a stimulus to the economy by the Federal Reserve. The Fed announced Wednesday it would hold steady on the rock-bottom rates by continuing its "quantitative easing" program of buying $85 billion of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities each month.
Freddie Mac asks lenders each Monday through Wednesday about the terms they are offering to borrowers with down payments of 20% or more, solid credit scores and the capacity to repay their debts.
The borrowers in the latest survey would have paid an average of 0.7% of the loan amount in fees and points to the lender.
US 30 Year Mortgage Rate data by YCharts
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