| NEW YORK, June 15
NEW YORK, June 15 Interest rates on U.S.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.52 percent late Monday
after hovering at 5.67 percent on Friday, according to real
estate Website Zillow.com.
That is down sharply from a week earlier when the mortgage
rate was around 5.72 percent, according to Zillow Mortgage
The lower rates reflect a fall in yields on U.S.
government bonds, which are linked to the mortgage market.
The rate, however, is sharply higher than the roughly 5.00
percent level seen at the end of May and at the beginning of
this year, Zillow said.
The move higher in mortgage rates recently collapsed home
loan refinancing activity.
The worst of the U.S. housing market's meltdown, however,
may be over.
Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New
York, said the housing market's deep recession has started to
bottom with a leveling off in home sales.
Builders have slashed construction, so that inventory of
new single-family homes is falling at a record pace, with
starts at or close to the bottom, she said in research
The last element to bottom probably will be home prices,
with national home prices expected to fall a cumulative 40
percent from the peak through the second half of 2010, she
The battered U.S. housing market, which is in the midst of
its worst downturn since the Great Depression, is both the
source of and a major casualty of the credit crisis.
A setback for the market could hamper a turnaround of the
(Editing by Jan Paschal)