Average rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages fell to fresh lows this week. Cheap mortgage rates have made home-buying and refinancing more affordable than ever for those who can qualify. The average rate on 30-year loans ticked down to 3.83%. The 15-year mortgage dropped to an average 3.05%, also a record.
There have been some positive signs in recent months. January and February made up the best winter for sales of previously occupied homes in five years. And builders are laying plans to construct more homes in 2012 than at any other point in past 3½ years. That suggests some see the housing market slowly starting to turn around.