| March 4, 2011

Mortgage rates continue downward descent

Despite the fact that the housing market has been unfriendly to consumers who are trying to avoid foreclosure, conditions for prospective buyers continued to improve at the beginning of March.

In its latest weekly survey of the real estate market, Freddie Mac found that mortgage rates eased during the last week of February. Recently, rates had been rising from near record-lows, hitting totals not seen since April of 2010.

Overall, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.15 percent during the week, down from 4.22 percent during the previous seven days of study, The Wall Street Journal reports. The rate was also down from the 4.33 percent observed last year.

However, Freddie Mac’s chief economist Frank Nothaft was quick to categorize the findings, warning that housing demand is still relatively weak, the news source said. In addition, he said new home sales have now hit their lowest level since 1964.

While demand was clearly a factor contributing to the decline in rates, this means consumers who have enough savings to afford a downpayment or who are looking to invest in a new property will likely be able to find financing deals.

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