This is BIG NEWS!
Mortgages are cheaper today than they've been in a half-century. If only most people had the job security, the credit score and the cash to qualify.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan sank to 4.69 percent this week, beating the low set in December and down from 4.75 percent last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Rates for 15-year and five-year mortgages also hit lows.
Rates are at their lowest since the mortgage company began keeping records in 1971. The last time they were any cheaper was the 1950s, when most long-term home loans lasted just 20 or 25 years.
Rates have fallen over the past two months as investors have become nervous about Europe's debt crisis and the global economy and have shifted money into safe Treasury bonds. The demand has caused Treasury yields to fall. Mortgage rates track those yields.
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to an average of 4.13 percent. That was the lowest since at least 1991 and down from 4.2 percent a week earlier.
Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.84 percent, down from 3.89 percent a week earlier. That was also the lowest on Freddie Mac's records, which date to January 2005 for those loans.
By Alan Zibel The Associated Press