Fixed mortgage rates for 30-year loan now average 4.18 percent. But record low fixed mortgage rates are not perking up the housing market or causing a surge of refinancing.
Fixed mortgages rates for 15- and 30-year loans dropped to record lows this week, but it's not clear that lower interest rates are having much impact.
Not for would-be borrowers. Applications for new mortgages and refinancings are down, according to the latest survey of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Not for the housing market. "Activity in the housing market continued to be depressed by the substantial inventory of foreclosed and distressed properties," according to minutes of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee meeting in December.
Nevertheless, rates continue to edge down.
Fixed mortgage rates for a 30-year loan dropped 0.03 of a percentage point to 4.18 percent, according to the Jan. 4 survey of large lenders by Bankrate.com, an online aggregator of financial rate information. Four weeks ago, it stood at 4.24 percent.
A fixed 15-year mortgage also fell to 3.4 percent. These are the lowest rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages in the 26 years of Bankrate.com's weekly survey.