WASHINGTON–Mortgage rates have fallen again to record new lows, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey rates.
The latest numbers mark the ninth record low since March.
The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.86% this past week, according to Freddie Mac. That's the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of the mortgage giant's survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.37%.
"Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to a late-summer slowdown in the economic recovery," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a statement.
Khater said rates are helping drive strong demand for home sales, but by Autumn it will be difficult to sustain the growth momentum in purchases “because the lack of supply is already exhibiting a constraint on sales activity," he said.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for new mortgages during the week ending on Sept. 4 were up almost 3% from the week before. The average loan size continued to grow, hitting $368,600, the highest amount since MBA began tracking in 1990, the association said.
Some Sellers ‘Stuck’
"Homebuyers continue placing offers on homes, pushing existing inventory toward historic lows," George Ratiu, Realtor.com's senior economist, told CNN. "Would-be sellers are stuck in their homes, struggling to find their next house amid a dearth of supply, further contributing to the decline in inventory.
"The market imbalance is pushing prices close to 11% higher compared to a year ago, an advance which is beginning to erode the benefits of lower mortgage rates," Ratiu continued. "For many young, first-time buyers, the shift is reducing affordability, just as they are ready to embrace homeownership."
CNN noted the new record low-interest rate also has an impact on the number of homeowners who can potentially refinance their existing loans.
There are now 19.3 million high-quality refinance candidates, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data company. This is the largest group of this kind there has ever been, the firm reported, representing 43% of all 30-year mortgage holders, CNN reported.