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Mortgage rates drift lower, Freddie Mac says

May 5, 2011 |  7:59 am

Here's a bit of good news for anyone still thinking about refinancing a home loan -- mortgage rates have once again drifted lower for well-qualified buyers.

FREmonument A Freddie Mac report on Thursday said the lenders it surveys were offering 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at an average rate of 4.71% early this week, compared with 4.78% the week before.

Rates for 15-year fixed loans, a popular option for homeowners looking to refinance mortgages, averaged 3.89%, down from 3.97%.

Buyers would have paid 0.7% of the loan amount upfront to the lenders to obtain the rates, according to Freddie Mac, the government-controlled home finance giant. Borrowers typically owe significant additional fees to third parties such as appraisers, and can "buy down" rates by paying lenders more initially.

The initial rates for floating-rate mortgages fell as well, Freddie Mac said.

Fixed mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has fallen recently on weaker economic data. Laguna Niguel mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson said rates of 4.375% were available to some people with good credit this week because of the trend.

Freddie Mac conducts one of the most widely watched surveys of home loans, asking lenders across the country what rates they are offering to borrowers with solid credit who have at least a 20% down payment or equivalent equity in their homes if they are refinancing.

 RELATED:

California home sales continue slump

Fewer California homeowners receive default notices

Look back: 30-year rate topped 5% in February

-- E. Scott Reckard

Photo credit: Freddie Mac

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