By Carrie Bay
Investors’ growing appetite for the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds in the wake of European debt troubles and domestic policy decisions aimed at jump-starting a stagnant economic recovery have driven mortgage interest rates to their lowest in over 50 years.
Freddie Mac says both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages have reached all-time record lows, providing further incentive for homeowners looking to refinance.
Data released by Freddie Mac Thursday puts the average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate at 4.15 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending August 18th, a 17 basis-point drop from 4.32 percent in one week’s time.
The 15-year fixed-rate similarly fell 14 basis points, from 3.50 percent last week to 3.36 percent (0.6 point) this week.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also headed lower, with the 5-year ARM falling from 3.13 percent to 3.08 percent (0.5 point), and the 1-year ARM slipping from 2.89 percent to 2.86 percent (0.6 point).
Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey averages quotes gathered from about 125 lenders across the country.