The 30-year fixed mortgage rate (FRM) as charted by Freddie Mac has fallen to its lowest level since November 10, 2016.
The benchmark rate averaged 3.86% in the week ending August 24, down three basis points from the previous week's level of 3.89%. The FRM was at 3.43% at this time a year ago.
“The 10-year Treasury yield fell 6 basis points this week amid concerns over lagging inflation,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti. “The 30-year mortgage rate also declined for the fourth consecutive week, dropping 3 basis points to a new year-to-date low of 3.86 percent."
The rate for the 15-year FRM was unchanged at 3.16%, well above the year-ago level of 2.74%. and the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) inched up one basis point from a week earlier to 3.17%. A year ago at this time, it averaged 2.75%.
Bankrate.com, meanwhile, is reporting that it's calculation shows mortgage rates tie the lowest level of 2017.
The 30-year FRM is now at now 4.02%, a level not seen since June 14th and lowest since November 2016.
The 15-year FRM rate is 3.23% -- down 4 basis points from last week, and the5/1 ARM is up 1 basis point to 3.50%.
Analysts at Bankrate say high stock market valuations are increasingly prompting investors to move into safe haven government bonds at the first sign of trouble. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds, which moved lower over the past week as markets were buffeted by political drama in Washington and a terrorist attack in Barcelona.
Bankrate estimates that at the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.05%, the monthly payment for a $200,000 loan is $957.14.