- The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a sixth straight week. But the super-low rates aren't providing a lift to the struggling housing market.
Freddie Mac said yesterday that the rate on the 30-year home loan ticked down to 3.99 percent from 4 percent the previous week. It dropped to a record low of 3.94 nine weeks ago, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage was edged down to 3.27 percent from 3.30 percent. Nine weeks ago, it too hit a record low, of 3.26 percent.
Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks this year. Yet this year could be the worst for home sales in 14 years.
Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The yield rose this week after investors, encouraged by central banks' joint effort to ease lending standards, shifted their money into stocks. Treasury yields rise when buying activity decreases.
Low mortgage rates haven't translated into more home sales. Sales of previously occupied homes are just slightly ahead of last year's dismal sales figures - the worst in 13 years. New-home sales appear headed to their worst year on records dating back half a century.