Rates on 30-year mortgages dropped below 6 percent this week for the first time in more than a month, reflecting aggressive efforts by the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to protect the economy from a serious recession.
Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 5.87 percent this week. That was down from 6.13 percent last week and marked the first time that 30-year rates have fallen below the 6 percent level since the week of Feb. 14.
Rates on 30-year mortgages dropped below the 6 percent threshold in the second week of January and stayed there for six straight weeks as the sharp economic slowdown stirred recession concerns.
Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, fell to 5.27 percent this week, down from 5.6 percent last week.
For five-year adjustable-rate mortgages, rates dipped to 5.56 percent, compared with 5.58 percent last week.
Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages were the only category to show an increase, edging up to 5.15 percent, compared to 5.14 percent last week.
Housing has been suffering through a severe slump that has dragged down house prices in many parts of the country. The fallout is hitting both homeowners and the economy at large, raising worries about a possible recession.
The Real Estate Association of Puget Sound will feature Donna Bauer, an expert on discounted real estate notes, short sales and preforeclosures at its monthly meeting from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. Cost is $15 for nonmembers. Information is at 425-458-4797.
Send real estate news to Mike Benbow, Business editor, The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206, by fax at 425-339-3435 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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