Mortgage rates fall sharply

Long-term mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage near an all-time low.

Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fix was 4.83 percent in the week ending Nov. 12, down from 4.91 percent last week. A year ago, 30 year mortgages averaged 6.04 percent.

The best deal, if you can afford the payments, is a 15 year fixed-rate mortgage. The average rate on a 15 year fix fell to 4.32 percent, the lowest on record. That rate is below average rates on one year adjustable-rate mortgages.

“Low fixed rates throughout the third quarter prompted an estimated $1.1 trillion in refinancing activity, saving homeowners about $10 billion in aggregate monthly payments over the first 12 months of their new loan,” says Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE)chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Moreover, for the fourth consecutive quarter, more than 95 percent of prime borrowers who originally had an ARM selected a conventional fixed-rate mortgage in the third quarter of the year.”

According to, the current mortgage rates in New Mexico are 4.88 percent for a 30-year fixed loan and 4.56 percent for 15-year fixed loans.

Despite low rates, the new home market took a pause last month.

New home starts fell 10.7 percent from September to October, led by a 33 percent drop in new condominium and apartment buildings, hitting the lowest pace since records began in 1959. A separate report from the National Association of Home Builders this week says builder confidence in November remained relatively low.

 New Mexico Business Weekly