April 14th, 2014 11:41 AM by Ron Mastrodonato
WASHINGTON (AP) – April 11, 2014 – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season begins.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.34 percent from 4.41 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.38 percent from 3.47 percent.
Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.
Going into the spring buying season, the housing market faces a dilemma: Too few people are selling homes. Yet too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale.
A double-digit jump in the average price of a home sold last year hasn't managed to coax more homeowners to sell. And combined with higher mortgage rates, higher prices have made homes costlier for first-time buyers as well as for all-cash investors.
Refinancing's share of mortgage applications fell from 53 percent to 51 percent in the week ended April 4 – the lowest level since July 2009, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.
Average prices nationally are expected to rise by single digits this year. The gains could be strongest in areas with solid job growth, such as Seattle and Austin (Texas).
Read more at floridarealtors.org