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Mortgage rates continue record slide

By Associated Press
November 12, 2010

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NEW YORK — The mortgage rate bar is even lower, but few home buyers are making the jump. Rates on fixed mortgages again fell to their lowest levels in decades this week, Freddie Mac said yesterday.

That marked more than a half-year of record lows. But housing activity has still faltered.

Stiff headwinds — unemployment, foreclosures, and tight credit — are undermining the attractive rates. Home sales logged their worst summer in decades, with third-quarter sales falling by 21 percent from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors said. Median home prices fell in half of US cities in the July-to-September period. And banks are on pace to take back more than 1 million homes this year, RealtyTrac Inc. says.

The average rate on 15-year fixed loans, a popular choice for refinancing, fell to 3.57 percent from 3.63 percent, Freddie Mac said — the lowest since the survey began in 1991. The average rate for 30-year fixed loans fell to 4.17 percent from 4.24 percent last week. That’s the lowest on records dating to 1971.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday of each week.