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Start of 2015 brings new lows for residential financing rates

Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 10:14:36 AM

It is a new year, and with it comes new lows for residential financing rates. As the last several months of 2014 brought favorable conditions for borrowers, it appears that early 2015 will be more of the same.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.73 percent for the week ending Jan. 8. The average was at 3.87 percent for the previous seven-day period, and 4.51 percent for the same time last year. A similar trend was present for the 15-year FRM, with the current rate at 3.05 percent, down from last week's 3.15 percent and last year's 3.56 percent.

"Mortgage rates fell to begin the year as 10-year Treasury yields slid beneath 2 percent for the first time in three months," explained Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Meanwhile, the Fed minutes indicated ongoing discussion regarding the timing of the first rate hike."

In addition to the drop in rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association also reported that residential financing availability was on the way up in December. The organization's Mortgage Credit Availability Index increased on a monthly basis, a sign of loosening lending standards.