2012 Record Breaking Year for Lower Mortgage Rates

During 2012 we have seen mortgage rates hit a series of record lows and even more record lows are expected in 2013 as the Federal Reserve continues policies that are designed to drive mortgage rates down. Average conforming 30 year mortgage rates started 2012 at 3.91 percent in Freddie Mac's first Primary Mortgage Market Survey in 2012.

The last PMMS survey in 2012 had 30 year mortgage rates averaging 3.35 percent, a decline of 56 basis points or a decline of about 15 percent. 30 year mortgage rates today on New Years Eve are averaging 3.38 percent on Bankrate's national average rate survey.

The lowest point for 30 year mortgage interest rates in Freddie Mac's survey was at 3.31 percent in the survey that ended on November 21, 2012. The highest point for 30 year rates in 2012 was in the March 22 survey when the average 30 year rate hit 4.08 percent. Back in January 2010 average 30 year rates were just above 5.00 percent.

The future direction of mortgage rates in 2013 will be lower due to several reasons. The main reason is that the Federal Reserve is buying mortgage-backed securities (MBS) specifically to drive rates lower. MBS are the aftermarket for mortgages. These mortgages are bundled together and sold to investors as securities. By doing so, this frees up funds so lenders can make more loans which provide liquidity to the mortgage market. The Fed started buying MBS during the housing bust to provide liquidity and help the housing market recover.

The lowest 30 year refinance rate quoted on our rate list for Texas right now is at 2.875 percent with 1.50 mortgage points. In other states you can also find 30 year rates quoted below the average and below 3.00 percent with points. On our Ohio 30 year refinance rates list we have one lender quoting 30 year refi rates at 2.875 percent with 1.761 points.

Conforming 15 year mortgage rates started 2012 at an average of 3.23 percent and closed out 2012 averaging 2.65 percent. As with 30 year rates, 15 year rates have been in a tight range for all of 2012. The highest point for average 15 year rates was on March 22 when 15 year rates hit 3.30 percent. The lowest point for 15 year rates was on November 21 when rates hit a low of 2.63 percent. In January 2010, 15 year mortgage interest rates averaged 4.44 percent.

All year long you could find lenders quoting 15 year mortgage refinance rates well below the average rates. Current mortgage rates on 15 year conforming loans can be found as low as 2.25 percent with points on our rate tables. If you'd rather not pay points up front in order to secure a lower rate, we have lenders quoting 15 year rates as low as 2.50 percent without points. Feel free to search our rate tables to find a list of today's mortgage rates in your state. Best of all you don't have to provide any personal information to see a list of rates at mortgagerates.monitorbankrates.com.
Author: Brian McKay
December 31st, 2012
Posted in: Bank Mortgage Rates