Both 30- and 15-year mortgages reached record lows
Long-term mortgages were introduced to the U.S. market in the 1950s — and the 3.83 percent average for a 30-year loan reported by Freddie Mac last week is the lowest rate recorded since then.
The average for a 15-year mortgage dropped to a record low of 3.05 percent.
First quarter home sales highest in five years
According to NAR, home sales in the first three months of 2012 were the highest of any first quarter since 2007. Home sales increased 4.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 and were up 5.3 percent year over year from the same period in 2011.
Loan fees and delinquencies dropping too
Last week, the average fee for 30-year loans dropped from 0.8 to 0.7, although the fee for 15-year loans remained steady at 0.7.
At the same time, homeowners behind on their mortgage payments reached the lowest level in three years — only 5.78 percent of borrowers were late on payments for the first quarter of 2012. This is down from 6.19 percent year over year from 2011, and from 6.01 percent the quarter prior (the last quarter of 2011).