partlycloudy
Friday February 12th, 2016 9:11AM

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.49 pct.

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage touched its record low this week and the rate on 15-year mortgage hit a new record.

The declines followed the Federal Reserve announcement last week that it would buy bonds to try to push mortgage rates lower and stimulate the housing market.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.49 percent from 3.55 percent last week. That matched the lowest rate since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, plunged to 2.77 percent, a new record. That's down from 2.85 percent last week and the previous record low of 2.80 percent.

Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest housing recovery this year.

Sales of both previously occupied and newly built homes are up from last year. Home prices are rising more consistently. Builders are more confident in the market and are started more homes. And fewer Americans owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth.

Low rates also have enabled people to refinance, which lowers monthly mortgage payments and helps boosts consumer spending.

The housing market has a long way back. Sales and construction rates remain below healthy levels And many people are still having trouble qualifying for home loans.

Still, the improvements have been steady and the broader economy is likely to benefit. When home prices rise, Americans typically feel wealthier and spend more - a point made by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke when he addressed the new stimulus measures last week.

The Fed plans to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as it thinks necessary to make home buying more affordable. Bernanke said the Fed will keep buying the bonds until the job market improves "substantially."

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans also held steady at 0.6 point.

The average rate on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.61 percent. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans was steady at 0.4 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 2.76 percent from 2.72 percent. The fee was unchanged at 0.6 point.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 3 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 3 years ago )
U.S. News
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 3 years ago )
Abortion restrictions, tax changes loom in Ga.
Tax breaks for manufacturers and higher unemployment taxes for employers take effect with the new year in Georgia, but it remains to be seen whether the state's newest abortion restrictions will be enforced.
6:23PM ( 3 years ago )
Business News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 3 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 3 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 3 years ago )
Local/State News
New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain are emerging
WASHINGTON (AP) — New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect preg...
6:22PM ( 1 day ago )
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 3 days ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 6 days ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 1 week ago )
Cruz (R) expected to claim conservative Iowa caucus victory, with Clinton (D) and Sanders (D) deadlocked among liberal vote
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
By The Associated Press
10:55PM ( 1 week ago )