Low mortgage rates contribute to greater housing affordability

As the typically strong spring homebuying season looms around the corner, mortgage rates remained close to all-time lows during the week ending March 8, Freddie Mac reports.

As the typically strong spring homebuying season looms around the corner, mortgage rates remained close to all-time lows during the week ending March 8, Freddie Mac reports.

Mortgage records indicate the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage during the week averaged 3.88 percent, slightly lower than the previous week when it averaged 3.9 percent. Last year at the time, the rate was 4.88 percent. In addition, the average rate for a 15-year FRM fell to 3.13 percent.   

According to the mortgage giant's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, these drops in rates have significantly contributed to homebuyer affordability reaching a new high.

"With these historically low rates and declining house prices, the typical family had more than double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home in January, according to the National Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Index which registered the highest reading since records began in 1970," said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft.

Meanwhile, the rates for  5- and 1-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.81 and 2.73 percent, respectively.



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