WASHINGTON -- The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94 percent this week, the lowest rate ever. For those who can qualify for the historically low rate, it's an extraordinary opportunity to buy or refinance.
Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped from 4.01 percent last week, the previous low. The average rate on a 15-year fixed loan dipped to 3.26 percent, also a record.
Low rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing. Many people don't have enough cash or home equity to get a loan, or they are reluctant to take the risk in this market. Others have already refinanced because the average rate on the 30-year loan has been below 5 percent for most of the past year.
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This Italian villa, built in 1924, is available for the first time in 30 years -- and for $9.5 million less than its original ask. The 7.39 acre estate offers coastal and valley panoramas. Features include a pool, guesthouse, tennis court, Japanese garden and three gated entrances.
Exposed beams and glass doors, leading to a porch with coastal views, add luster to this ornate interior.
Location: Corona Del Mar, Calif.
Price: $17.995 million
Sq. Ft.: 7,251
This soft contemporary presides majestically over coastal cliffs. Walls of glass give the panoramas full advantage while three stories of outdoor living go even further to celebrate the residence's stunning location. But as exceptional as this property is, the owner may have asked a little too much at first -- or more than just a little: The home is $10 million cheaper than originally listed.
Location: Kihei, Hawaii
Price: $17 million
Sq. Ft.: 2,337
The fact that $17 million brings you just two bedrooms in the case of this stunner speaks to how expensive Hawaii beachfront really is. And just think: Before the home's $5 million price cut, two bedrooms here cost significantly more.
Location: Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Price: $15.995 million
Sq. Ft.: 17,015
Counting the residence's guesthouses, this property offers 35,000 square feet of covered space. Throw in the 21-car garages, and you've got to wonder: Was the original owner playing sultan? If so, the act's up -- this home has been foreclosed on. Recently, its handler cut the price by $2 million.
The home boasts high-tech security and sound equipment along with a 13-seat mahogany theater, solar-heated pool and solar-electric generator. There are also two swimming pools, including the one pictured at left.