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The stock market’s plunge following the Brexit vote was bad for most people’s retirement accounts but good for those looking to refinance their mortgage. Even as the market has started to recover its losses and the flight to bonds’ safety has eased, home loan rates remain down.
Despite the low rates, growing pessimism over the direction of the economy is spilling over into home-purchase sentiment. Pending home sales – those deals that are under contract but have not closed – declined in May, marking their first annual drop in nearly two years. Rates may be low, but not many people are rushing out to make a big purchase such as a home with so much economic uncertainty. The group most likely to benefit from low rates are homeowners seeking to refinance.
According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average plunged to 3.48 percent with an average 0.5 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.56 percent a week ago and 4.08 percent a year ago. Since the beginning of the year, the 30-year fixed rate has plummeted nearly 50 basis points. (A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.) It has fallen 18 basis points in the past month alone.
The 15-year fixed-rate average sank to 2.78 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.83 percent a week ago and 3.24 percent a year ago.
The five-year adjustable rate average dropped to 2.70 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.74 percent a week ago and 2.99 percent a year ago.
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