Mortgage charges finish the yr at a report low, though authorities bond yields are rising

Mortgage rates have fallen again to record lows, although the 10-year benchmark Treasury's return is flirting with a decline above the 1% mark, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.66% for the week ended December 24, compared to last week when it averaged 2.67%. This was the lowest point since Freddie Mac began collecting this data in 1971. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.74%.

However, the 10-year government bond yield rose from the previous seven-day period. It closed at 0.955% on December 23, an increase of 3.5 basis points from a week earlier. In fact, the 10-year return was 0.973% on December 23, its highest level since November 10.

Even so, the low mortgage rates made for a nice vacation surprise, which is usually a slow time of year for the property market. Purchase requests were up 26% and refis were up 124% year over year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported on December 23.

"The real estate market is poised to end the year strong as low mortgage rates continue to fuel home buyer demand and refinancing activity," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, in a press release.

"We expect a stable rate in 2021, but the main driver in the near future will be the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and the execution of the vaccine."

The 15 year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.19%, compared to last week when it averaged 2.21%. A year ago, the average duration of the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.19%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid floating rate mortgage averaged 2.79% with an average score of 0.2 points, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the average five-year variable rate mortgage at that point averaged 3.45%.

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