Mortgage rates as low as 4.5%December 8, 2008
Homeowners may soon enjoy mortgage rates as low as 4.5 percent if the Treasury Department has its way. According to The Wall Street Journal’s on-line addition, the department is discussing a plan that would use Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to push banks to make mortgages available at more than a full percentage point below the current levels for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.
The plan under review might lower rates to the 4.5 percent range and would be in addition to a program announced last week wherein the Federal Reserve will purchase up to $600 billion of debt either issued or backed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. That program is already having an effect on mortgage rates, which have dropped and caused investors to pay more attention to the stocks of banks and homebuilders.
Probably in response to the earlier new program and the lower rates, mortgage applications jumped a record 112.1 percent as seasonally adjusted over the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Journal reported that the government would encourage banks to issue new mortgage loans at lower rates by offering to purchase securities backed by the loans at a price equivalent to the 4.5 percent rate, funding the program by issuing Treasury debt at 3 percent.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Mortgage News Daily