Mortgage rates fell this week, matching a record low set last month, according to a Bankrate survey released Wednesday.
The average cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.03 percent from last week’s 3.12 percent in Bankrate’s national survey of lenders. The 15-year fixed also set a new record, falling to 2.45 percent. Bankrate includes origination points and other fees in its figure. The 30-year fixed-rate loans in this week’s survey included an average total of 0.32 discount and origination points.
Mortgage rates fell steadily since the coronavirus recession began earlier this year, propping up a surprisingly strong housing market. However, rates had ticked up a bit this month as stocks soared on optimism about the presidential election, potential vaccines for the coronavirus and an improving labor market.
The drop in mortgage rates reflects mixed signals from the economy. A fall spike in coronavirus cases offset hopeful signs that a COVID-19 vaccine soon will be available, and the economic recovery so far has been uneven and incomplete, Walls Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner told the National Association of Realtors Wednesday.
“Mortgage rates are going to remain low,” Vitner says.
Mortgage experts polled by Bankrate expect rates to remain the same in the coming week. Nearly half expect rates to stay the same. The 10-year Treasury yield, a key indicator for mortgage rates, rose to its highest level in months, flirted with 1 percent last week but had dipped to 0.88 percent Wednesday.
“With the possibility of further lockdowns or disruption, there shouldn’t be much of a reason to see rates head higher anytime soon,” says Gordon Miller of Miller Lending Group in Cary, North Carolina.