Mortgage rates took a bit of a dive for the week ended Jan. 17. Freddie Mac reported a the average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.41% from 4.51 percent in the previous week.
The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate home loan dropped as well, from 3.56 percent to 3.45 percent. Freddie Mac attributed the decline in rates to small gains in retail spending and job growth.
The decline is a slight difference from the recent trend of increases. USA Today reported speculation if the Federal Reserve further reducing its bond buying program as a cause for the increases. It was announced in December that the Fed would be decreasing the monthly bond-buying program by $10 billion.
Along with the Fed cutting its stimulus plan, a plan to increase guarantee fees for mortgages backed by Freddie and Fannie Mae was halted by Mel Watt, new Federal Housing Finance Agency director. Watt, who was sworn in on Jan. 6, said he would stop the increase financial organizations charge to lenders. Watt said he would not give the go ahead for this fee hike until he fully understood the benefits and costs .
"I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing," Watt said in a statement.
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