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April 24th, 2013

Fixed-mortgage rates: A stone’s throw from record lows

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Weekly NewspaperRates on the most popular mortgages types drifted downward again, according to HSH.com’s Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by two basis points (0.02 percent) to 3.54 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by a single basis point, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at average of 2.59 percent.

“Fixed mortgage rates are a stone’s throw from record lows, while five-one hybrid ARMs are already there,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. “There’s no better way to welcome the spring homebuying season than with rock-bottom mortgage rates.”

Sales of both new and existing homes are holding near multi-year highs, but inventories of homes available for sale remains tight. That may cause frustration for some potential homebuyers, since it represents a sea change from just a couple of years ago.

“Driven by low rates, there are more buyers in the market now but not much inventory available. Any so-called ’shadow inventory’, properties expected to flood the market when sales conditions improved doesn’t appear to be turning into real inventory very quickly. Also, some sellers may be holding out for higher prices before putting their homes on the market this spring. Whatever the reason, additional home sales are said to be held back for a lack of desirable inventory,” adds Gumbinger.

Purchase apps at highest point since 2010

Mortgage applications increased slightly on the news of lower rates. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, total application volume was up just 0.2 percent for the week ending April 19.

Both the refinance index and the purchase index increased 0.3 percent from the week prior. The purchase index sits at its highest point since May 2010.

Despite the boost in purchase activity, refinances continue to make up 75 percent of all applications, with HARP refinances accounting for 32 percent of all refinance applications, the highest level since the MBA started tracking them in February 2012.

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One Response to “Fixed-mortgage rates: A stone’s throw from record lows”

  1. Francisco Says: April 24th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    There’s no way to know where the rates are going, or how long they will last where they are. Property values to rise and fall depending on how much people can realisticly buy, because in the end, what matters is that you can make the monthly payment.
    A person should not rush for a purchase, but rather must educate himself so that he can be happy of the decision made during the 30 years in which a mortgage payment is due.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com'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 HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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