FHFA: Mortgage rates drop for fifth straight month
The average interest rate on mortgages sold to the government-sponsored enterprises in August averaged 4.56%, a drop of 1 basis point from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It's the fifth straight month of declines since the rate to reached 4.84% in March. On Oct. 3, the Federal Reserve will begin purchasing up to $400 billion in longer-term Treasurys and new agency mortgage-backed securities as part of an effort to keep borrowing costs low. According to Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, the Fed's previous policies have already pushed interest rates to the lowest level since the early 1950s. Any additional drop would accelerate already declining rates, according to FHFA data. Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.