May 16th, 2012 (Modified on May 21st, 2012)

Eurozone drives mortgage rates downward



iStock_New ConstructionWhen released the latest Two-month forecast for mortgage rates back on April 20, we warned that “troubles overseas have flared again and will bear watching.” Well, those troubles have indeed reignited and homebuyers and refinancers will benefit because of it.

According to’s Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar, mortgage rates retreated to new record lows once again.

The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 6 basis points (0.06 percent) to 3.91 percent. Conforming 5/1 hybrid ARM rates decreased by 5 basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.85 percent.

“A deepening economic slump overseas is forcing mortgage rates downward, as investors once again seek a haven for their money in the relative safety of U.S.-backed debt,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of

A worsening financial and political crisis in Greece has led to speculation that the country might exit from the eurozone. This would destabilize the currency and risk tipping Spain and Italy into deeper crises of their own.

“A troubled world is good for U.S. homebuyers and homeowners, at least for now,” added Gumbinger. “However, difficulties overseas are likely to slow our already muted pace of growth this summer, making it even harder to keep our own recovery moving forward. Ultimately, that benefits no one.”

Thinking about buying new?

If you’re thinking about buying a new home, loan officer Dan Green said the time to act is now. “Buyers of new construction are on the clock,” said Green. “With builder confidence rising and new home sales expected to pop, the best time to buy a new home this year may be right this very minute.”

With builder confidence at a five-year high and foot traffic at the highest level it has been at since 2007, the demand for new construction is returning—positive signs for both the employment and housing sectors.

But as contributing writer Bendix Anderson wrote, new homes are hard to find.

“If you’re in the market for a new home, be prepared to compete with other homebuyers over the few new listings left on the market, especially if you’re shopping for a new home that was recently finished,” wrote Anderson.

Mortgage rates have never been lower

Whether you’re in the market for a new or “used” home, or if you’re looking to refinance your existing home, mortgage rates have never been lower. And even though lending conditions remain strict, as Green points out, your mortgage options are plentiful, especially if you’re looking for a mortgage with a low down payment.

Be sure to view today’s mortgage rates and begin shopping around before it’s too late.

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About the HSH Blog's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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