Numbers: Mortgage rates are down for the first time in six weeks as the US economy faces banking meltdowns and an uncertain road ahead.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.60% as of March 16, according to data released by Freddie Mac FMCC,
That’s down 13 basis points from the previous week – one basis point equals one-hundredth of a percentage point.
Last week, the 30-year was at 6.73%. Last year, the 30-year-old averaged 4.16%
The average 15-year mortgage rate fell to 5.9% from 5.95% the previous week. The 15-year was at 3.39% a year ago.
The Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Rate Report is based on thousands of applications received from lenders across the country that are submitted to Freddie Mac when a borrower applies for a mortgage.
Separate data from Mortgage News Daily said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.55% on Thursday morning.
What Freddie Mac said: “The financial market turmoil is putting significant downward pressure on rates, which should benefit short-term borrowers,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement.
Khater urged buyers to look for additional rates and not stick with one lender given the current volatility in mortgage rates.
“Our research finds homebuyers can potentially save $600 to $1,200 [per year] every year by taking the time to shop around with multiple lenders,” Khater said.
What they say : Lower rates stimulate demand for mortgages, Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement.
“Further early rate cuts could spur additional app gains at the start of the spring homebuying season,” he added.
Market reaction: The yield of the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y,
was trading below 3.5% in Thursday’s afternoon trading session.