Mortgage rates inching down closer to historic lows


WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 27, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Spring home buyers in the market have more to look forward to this home buying season as fixed-rate mortgage rates were pushed down further in the week ended April 23, according to the latest mortgage report by Freddie Mac. Lower mortgage rates could mean reduced borrowing costs and increased housing affordability, which could result in more buyers coming into the market this season and throughout 2015.

Freddie Mac noted that both 30-year fixed-rate and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were lower this week compared to the previous week. They were also lower than they were in the same week last year.
Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, said the smaller mortgage rates could benefit home buyers in the spring, citing data from the Multi-Indicator Market Index.

In the April 22 report, Freddie Mac highlighted the overall improvement in the national housing market. The MiMi, which monitors the top 100 metro housing markets in the U.S. showed about 60 percent of all areas tracked were healthier to continue a three-month upward growth.

“Purchase applications in 60 of the 100 markets that MiMi tracks are up from the same time last year, including 20 markets that are showing double-digit increases,” Kiefer said in a statement. “Reinforcing this positive momentum, existing home sales surged 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million units in March, the highest annual rate since September 2013.”

Mortgage refinancing applications up
With the lower rates, some current homeowners may think about refinancing. The Mortgage Bankers Association said the refinance index measuring mortgage applications was up 1 percent this week.
“Purchase applications increased for the fourth time in five weeks as we proceed further into the spring home buying season,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, said in a statement.

To get the most out of refinancing, homeowners should factor in how much they will likely save by switching to an updated mortgage.

Bankrate recommends homeowners refinance their mortgage not only based on whether the rate is low enough, but also whether they want to consolidate their debt, such as a mortgage and home equity loan. Refinancing may be a good option for homeowners wanting to pay off their home loan debt sooner so they can enjoy their retirement or achieve other financial goals.

Refinancing can also allow homeowners to explore other mortgage products they may have not taken advantage of during their initial home search.

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