Mortgage rates trend downward toward record lows in mid-April

April 23rd, 2013

Falling mortgage rates may contribute to the spike of interested home buyers.

Through the middle of April, mortgage rates are hovering just above the record lows that prompted more buyers to show renewed interest in homeownership.

According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.41 percent for week ending April 18, 2013, down from 3.43 percent the previous week. During the same period in 2013, 30-year FRMs averaged 3.90 percent. Average 15-year FRMs also fell, declining to 2.64 percent from 2.65 percent the previous week and 3.13 percent one year ago.

“Mortgage rates nudged lower this week as consumer spending showed signs of weakness,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft. “Retail sales contracted for the second time in three months, falling 0.4 percent in March.”

Nothaft added that confidence in the U.S. economy fell in the University of Michigan’s latest Consumer Sentiment Index – one of the most commonly cited consumer confidence reports in the nation – reaching its lowest reading since summer 2012.

Low mortgage rates and strengthening home prices are contributing to the recent spike in mortgage activity that has led housing market recovery projections to exceed analysts expectations.

A recent Trulia analysis found that aggressive buyers eager to get good housing deals have caused inventory to fall to a 12-month low.