Jeff-DerGurahian

With interest rates falling for a fourth consecutive week, now may be an excellent time to purchase or refinance your home.

"With rates still hovering at 4%, affordability is still in a good spot," said Jeff DerGurahian, executive vice president of capital markets, in a recent Bankrate interview.

Interest rates declined for a fourth consecutive week as the Federal Reserve refrained from raising interest rates for a second time since December 2015. Rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.79 percent for the week ending Jan. 28, 2016, the lowest since April 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

"The yield on the 10-year Treasury stabilized around 2 percent this week, and the 30-year mortgage rate dipped 2 basis points to 3.79 percent,” said Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The recent market turmoil has given the Fed pause; as was universally expected, the Fed stood firm this week but kept its options open for a rate increase in March. This week's housing releases confirmed the momentum of home sales going into 2016. A hesitant Fed, sub-4-percent mortgage rates (at least for a little while longer), and strong housing fundamentals should generate a three percent increase in home sales this year."

A year ago at this time the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 3.07 percent with an average .5 point, down from 3.10 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year averaged 2.98 percent.

In December, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. On Wednesday, Jan. 27, the central bank said it would not increase rates again at the moment, but left the door open for a rate increase in March. The Fed’s benchmark federal funds rate will stay between .25 percent and .5 percent, the range set in December 2015.

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