Benchmark Mortgage Rate Drops Below 3 Percent

Benchmark Mortgage Rate Drops Below 3 Percent

30-year mortgage rates dip below 3% for first time in 50 years

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.06 percent, up slightly from last week's 3.02 percent average and down from last year's 3.48 percent average. The index is up almost 9 per cent year to date, compared with a less than 1 per cent decline in the broad S&P 500 as a whole. That's because mortgage rates usually move with the 10-year Treasury note yield, and yields sink when investors park their money in safe places (like bonds) to prepare for dark economic times.

The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 2.98 percent, falling below the 3 percent level for the first time since record-keeping began in 1971, according to mortgage investor Freddie Mac.

Besides, while the USA 30-year fixed mortgage had hit a 50-year low on record this week, the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 2.48 per cent on an average from 2.51 per cent a week earlier, while the five-year treasury-indexed adjustable mortgage rate rose to 3.06 per cent compared to a reading of 3.02 per cent a week earlier, suggesting a sheer loatheness among the investors for the safe-haven assets such as U.S. treasuries.

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Low mortgage rates are also spurring demand from potential home buyers, said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

"You're likely to see more improvements in retail spending numbers and auto loan rates the lower interest rates go", he said.

In my early morning discussion with economist Bruce WD Barren, he pointed out the following: "Mortgage rates are forecasted to fall through November, 2021 when they are anticipated to bottom out". It's now running around 0.6% after starting the year at about 1.9%.

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"Our business continues to be very strong and we expect the next 12-18 months to be the best months in mortgage history", he said. "A positive indicator is that buyer demand in May was 46% higher than in early March, when demand for housing fell by 70%." .

Overall, real estate listing firm Zillow expects that United States home prices will fall less than 1.7 per cent in 2020 despite the steep slowdown in the economy, due in part to the positive effect of lower interest rates.

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