Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in decades for the ninth time in 10 weeks as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan bottomed out at 4.36% for the week that ended Aug. 26, according to Freddie Mac.
Mortgage bankers are hoping these rock-bottom rates will persuade more borrowers to refinance, if other continuing hurdles like second liens do not stop them.
Amy Crews Cutts, deputy chief economist at Freddie, said in a recent interview that one roadblock facing those who want to refinance is the issue of second liens and subordination, something Freddie is hearing "more and more" about, she said.
"We don't have evidence as to whether this is deliberate on the part of banks," or, alternatively, whether these result in complications that cause a borrower to lose a rate lock, Cutts added.
Despite such concerns, she noted, some rates are becoming more attractive as the long-term 10-year Treasury yield this week dropped to a low not seen since January 2009.
That decline caused the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to fall to 4.36% from 4.42% the previous week. A year ago, fixed-rate loans were being originated at 5.14%.