Breaking News


Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Drop to Near-Record Lows

U.S. mortgage rates fell, decreasing borrowing costs after more Americans applied for home loans.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.32 percent in the week ended today, down from 3.34 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac (FMCC) said in a statement. The average 15- year rate slipped to 2.66 percent from 2.67 percent.

Home prices are rising as low interest rates bolster demand for a shrinking supply of properties. A measure of home-loan applications increased 6.2 percent in the week ended Dec. 7, the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association said yesterday. The group’s purchase gauge gained 0.7 percent to the highest level in a year, and its refinancing index jumped 8 percent.

“Stronger mortgage demand suggests that would-be buyers are growing in confidence,” Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics Ltd. in London, wrote in a note to clients on Dec. 11. “Nevertheless, mortgage lending will continue to be held back by tight credit.”

Home prices climbed 6.3 percent in October from a year earlier, the biggest jump since June 2006 and the eighth consecutive increase on a year-over-year basis, according to CoreLogic Inc., an Irvine, California-based data firm.

The average 30-year mortgage rate dropped to a record 3.31 percent last month, according to Freddie Mac.

To contact the reporter on this story: Prashant Gopal in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.