Mortgage Rates Fall Below the 3% Mark

Orla McCaffrey reported today at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “In a year of financial firsts, this one stands out: Mortgage rates have fallen below the 3% mark.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 2.98%, mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac FMCC -0.93% said Thursday, its lowest level in almost 50 years of record keeping. It is the third consecutive week and the seventh time this year that rates on America’s most popular home loan have hit a fresh low.

“The coronavirus pandemic has upended markets around the world—sending stocks on a wild ride and yields on U.S. government debt to record lows—but its effect on the 30-year mortgage is especially significant. Consider its history: In the early 1980s, it peaked above 18% after the Federal Reserve raised rates to fight runaway inflation.”

The Journal article noted that, “Below 3% is a ‘tremendous benchmark,’ said Jeff Tucker, an economist at Zillow Group Inc. ‘It’s also an indication that we remain in a crisis here.’

“The average rate on the 30-year mortgage stood at 3.72% at the beginning of the year and 3.81% a year ago, according to Freddie Mac.”

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