30-year-mortgage rates hold at record low

By Reuters
Posted July 15, 2010 at 10:18 a.m.

U.S. 30-year fixed mortgage rates held at record lows last week, while shorter-term borrowing costs hovered at or near all-time lows, home funding company Freddie Mac said Thursday. The 30-year mortgage rate stayed at 4.57 percent for the week ended July 15, matching the prior’s week’s all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating back to 1971.

A year ago, the rate averaged 5.14 percent.

Lenders added 0.7 percentage point, on average, in added points and fees last week.

The low rates have stimulated a pick-up in refinancing, mainly from borrowers who haven’t already refinanced when rates were similarly low over the past year and those who still have equity in their homes.

Home purchases have been stunted, however, by unemployment and fears of job loss.

“Over the past month, about four out of five conventional loan applications and more than one-half of FHA and VA loan applications were for refinance,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement.

Homeowners would save about $1,500 in payments each year on a $200,000 loan at current rates compared with rates last June, he said.

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