Homeowners have had two full months of mortgage rates sitting near record lows, as Freddie Mac reports home loan rates remained in that territory during the first week of December.
According to the GSE's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 8, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.99 percent - down from 4 percent a week earlier. The average for a 15-year FRM fell even more, dropping from 3.3 to 3.27 percent during the week.
Conversely, the average rates for 1- and 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages increased marginally during the period. However, the rates also remain historically low.
The substantial affordability of these rates, coupled with low home prices, likely both contributed to a spike in purchase applications during the week ending December 2, said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.
To help increase homeownership, members of various housing and mortgage groups, including the National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers Association, have testified to Congress. Many of these groups have told the government it should maintain some role in the secondary mortgage market.