Thursday, November 19, 2009

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddi...Image via Wikipedia

by Broderick Perkins

If you purchased a home a year ago and have the equity and creditworthiness to swing it, a refinance today could save you hundreds of dollars a month.

Or, if you are in the market to buy a home, interest rates will make for a more affordable deal.

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for Nov. 12 put the average fixed interest rate for 30-year conforming mortgages at 4.91 percent.

Last year at the same time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.14 percent.

"Keeping rates at historically low levels for a sustained period of time has to remain a cornerstone of Fed policy until the economy gets back on track," said Nancy Osborne, chief operating officer of

On a $300,000 mortgage the principle and interest payment at today's average rate would be about $1,594, compared to $1,825 a year ago, according to Erate's calculators.

That's a monthly savings of $231. Put another way, a year's worth of the savings -- $2,772 -- amounts to almost two mortgage payments on a $300,000 mortgage at today's average rate.

Both home buyers and owners who want to refinance may have some time yet to shop around and dicker for the best interest rate deal.

"I don't suspect rates will begin to rise until we see at least three consecutive months of solid employment growth," Osborne said.

Freddie Mac also said the 15-year FRM averaged 4.36 percent, down from 5.81 percent a year ago.

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