Home loan rates remain low, spark sales activityNovember 29, 2012 @ 10:13 am
Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped the housing market recover, the Associated Press reported.
Representatives from Freddie Mac, a primary player in the secondary mortgage market, said that the average rate on the 30-year loan edged up to 3.32 percent. That's close to last week's rate of 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating to 1971.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage ticked up to 2.64 percent from 2.63 percent last week, also a record low.
The average rate on the 30-year loan has been below 4 percent all year. It has fallen further since the Federal Reserve started buying mortgage bonds in September to encourage more borrowing and spending.
Low mortgage rates have helped lift home sales this year. The National Association of Realtors said that its index measuring the number of people who signed contracts in October to buy homes jumped to its highest level in almost six years.
Still, the housing market has a long way to a full recovery. And many people are unable to take advantage of the low rates, either because they can't qualify for stricter lending rules or they lack the money to meet larger down payment requirements.
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