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Residential financing applications decline despite new low for rates

Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 10:22:29 AM

Potential homebuyers may not want 2014 to come to an end, since this year has seen residential financing rates continue to set new lows.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged only 3.80 percent for the week ending Dec. 18. Last week, it was still below 4 percent at an average of 3.93 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.09 percent, compared to 3.20 percent.

"The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to its lowest point of 2014 this week," explained Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Mortgage rates fell along with 10-year Treasury yields, which closed at their lowest level since May 2013. November housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.028 million starts, down 1.6 percent from an upwardly-revised October value."

Despite the low rates over the past several weeks, interest in residential financing appears to be holding to seasonal trends. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications fell 3.3 percent for the week ending Dec. 12. 

The winter is typically the slow season for housing, and even the draw of low rates hasn't been enough to change that. Even so, those interested in the market may be able to secure an affordable mortgage.