Interest rates continue downward slide

Mortgage rates have fallen for three straight weeks.Weakness in the economy may be contributing to the continuing slide in mortgage rates, as seen in the latest weekly report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which has boosted mortgage applications.According to the report, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage during the week ending April 29 was just 4.76 percent – the lowest point for the trend since the beginning of December.In addition, rates for 15-year loans dipped from 4.03 percent to just 3.96 percent, which is the lowest rate seen since November.Those dropping rates motivated more buyers to submit mortgage applications during the week to lock them in. The MBA says overall mortgage application volume increased by 4 percent over the week, including a 6 percent increase in refinance applications. There may also have been an increase in those looking to buy Houston properties, as purchase applications increased 0.3 percent as well.The low rates, in combination with steady home prices, may be motivating many people in the Houston real estate market. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, local home sales in March were down less than 5 percent compared to the tax credit-inflated numbers from March 2010.Courtesy of 2M Realty News

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