Mortgage Rates Hit New Record Lows

By Lyneka Little

Apr 12, 2012 12:08pm

The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low of 3.11 percent for the week ending April 12, according to Freddie Mac.

The average for a 30-year mortgage hit a near record rate of 3.88 percent for the same period.

“Fixed mortgage rates eased for the third consecutive week following long-term Treasury bond yields lower after a weaker than expected employment report for March,”  Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement.

“Although the unemployment rate fell to the lowest reading since January 2009, the overall economy added just 120,000 new jobs in March, nearly half that of the market consensus forecast,” said Nothaft. “On a more positive note, the Federal Reserve reported hiring was steady, or showed a modest increase, across many of its Districts in its April 11th Beige Book of regional economic conditions.”

For the week ending April 6, the Mortgage Bankers Association saw a 2.4 percent drop in mortgage applications from the previous week.

But, there has been some bright spots in the real estate market.

“The mild winter has helped lift expectations for the housing market after four years of sluggish sales,” according to the Associated Press.

“January and February made up the best winter for re-sales in five years, when the housing crisis began. And builders in February requested the most permits to construct homes in more than three years,” according to the AP.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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