NEW YORK: Interest rates on U.S. 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to their lowest levels in two months in step with a slide in U.S. bond yields stemming from concerns about slowing U.S. economic growth, Freddie Mac said on Thursday.
Thirty-year mortgage rates averaged 4.75 percent in the week ended Dec. 6, which was the lowest since they averaged 4.71 percent in the week of Oct. 4. Last week, they averaged 4.81 percent, the mortgage finance agency said.
Concerns about the economy intensified on Thursday following the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer, which traders fear would rekindle the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.
Meng’s arrest fed a sell-off across global stock markets. As of midday Thursday, the S&P 500 index was down nearly 2 percent.
Investors piled into less risky U.S. government bonds in the wake of this week’s equity rout. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield declined to a three-month low on Thursday at 2.826 percent.
“Mortgage rates declined this week amid a steep sell-off in U.S. stocks,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist Sam Khater said in a statement. “This week’s rate reaction to the volatile stock market is a welcome relief to prospective homebuyers who have recently experienced rising rates and rising home prices.”
Interest rates on other U.S. home loans also fell to multi-week lows, according to Freddie Mac.
The average interest rate on 15-year mortgages slipped to 4.21 percent, the lowest since the week of Oct. 4.
Interest rates on five-year adjustable-rate loans averaged 4.07 percent, the lowest in about a month.