Friday, April 3, 2015

Mortgage rates little changed

Home mortgage-interest rates were little changed this week, with Freddie Mac’s survey showing lenders offering conventional 30-year loans at an average 3.7 percent, up from 3.69 percent last week.

As the spring homebuying season begins, rates are about where they started the year, said Len Keifer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.

The average for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was 2.98 percent, up from 2.97 percent a week ago, and the start rates for adjustable home loans were unchanged.

The survey asks lenders early each week about the terms they are offering to low-risk borrowers seeking mortgages of up to $417,000 that conform to the guidelines of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the nation’s major housing-finance companies.

The borrowers would have paid a little more than half of 1 percent of the loan balance in upfront lender fees and discount points to obtain the best fixed rates. Payments for appraisals, title insurance and other third-party services are not included.

The survey provides a consistent gauge of mortgage trends, but actual rates fluctuate constantly and are influenced by many factors.

In addition to borrowers’ credit histories and debt loads, considerations include whether the borrowers opt for zero-cost loans at higher rates or pay extra to lenders initially to lower the rates.

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