Mortgage rates fall for third straight week

Mortgage rates continued to fall this week, with long-term rates hovering near 5 percent.
Freddie Mac says 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 5.07 percent last week to 5.04 percent in the week ending Sept. 17, the third consecutive weekly decline. It is the lowest rates have been since late May.
Long-term mortgage rates a year ago averaged 5.78 percent.
“Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages eased for the third consecutive week and remained at three month lows,” says Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft. Rates may “reach a record annual low since the survey began in 1971,” he says.
Those low rates are helping revive housing sales, but they are also bringing many existing homeowners back to the table. The Mortgage Bankers Association this week reported almost two out of three mortgage applications last week were for refinancing existing mortgages.
The Commerce Department Thursday reported housing starts rose to the highest level in nine months in August, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Building permits also rose to the highest level since last November.

New Mexico Business Weekly