American consumers considering pursuing the path to homeownership have been given the opportunity to lock in affordable home loans for the past month, as mortgage records have shown declining rates for each of the last four weeks.
Freddie Mac reported progress was seen for popular short- and long-term mortgage products recently, with its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending April 25 showing decreases across the board, and both 15- and five-year options reaching record low levels.
Rates for average 30-year FRMs last week were reportedly observed at 3.40 percent, exhibiting a small decline from the previous week's reading of 3.41 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the product has improved substantially, as the same week in April 2012 saw an average of 3.88 percent. Average 15-year FRMs also ameliorated on weekly and monthly bases recently, showing a decrease to 2.61 percent from its position at 2.64 percent logged the week prior. This development represents the lowest the product has ever been recorded at, and shows considerable progress from its year-ago level of 3.12 percent.
Freddie Mac noted five-year treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaged 2.58 percent during the week, moving down from the preceding week's reading of 2.60 percent, and from the level of 2.85 percent seen the same week last year. The week marked the first time the product had ever been logged at such a low amount. Average one-year treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs were recorded at 2.62 percent, exhibiting a drop from the week-ago reading of 2.63 percent and year-ago level of 2.74 percent.
"The housing market is getting a boost with mortgage rates hovering at or near record lows," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "The sales pickup is helping to support house-price gains."
Mortgage applications rise and rates continue to fall
With the housing market again showing to favorable conditions, more people may be taking steps toward homeownership. In its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced the seasonally adjusted measure of home loan application volume, moved up 0.2 percent during the week ending April 19.
The organization's Purchase Index reportedly improved 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, and reached its highest level since May 2010. Additionally, the Refinance Index increased 0.3 percent from the previous week's reading.
As rates have fallen and an increasing number of consumers have been applying for mortgages, lending companies may be experiencing improved safety and soundness in their business practices.