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Mortgage Rates Hit New Low

US mortgage rates for 30 year loans fell to a record low for a sixth straight week, to 3.67 percent.  The average 15 year rate dropped to 2.97 percent.

The recovery of the US housing market continued to gain strength as buyers returned to the market, encouraged by record-low mortgage rates and low prices.  Nationwide, home sales increased 3.4 percent from March according to data from the National Association of Realtors, however the rate of home sales still remains well below healthy levels. Predictions are that it could be years before the market fully recovers.

Meanwhile, U.S. home prices increased an average 2.7 percent in March, compared to March, 2011 and 1.8 percent from the previous month, which was the biggest gain in home values in the last 20 years.  The increase exceeded the estimates of most economists.

Mortgage rates have been dropping because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.  Uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis has led investors to buy more  Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurys increase, the yield falls.

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