The Wall Street Journal reports that fixed rate mortgages continue to hold at near record lows — 3.88 percent for a 30-year fixed rate and 3.13 percent for a 15-year fixed. In a news release, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank  Nothaft talked about the rates and housing affordability:

“With these historically low rates and declining house prices, the typical family had more than double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home in January, according to the National Association of Realtors® Housing Affordability Index which registered the highest reading since records began in 1970.  In fact, the Corelogic® National Home Price Index fell for the sixth consecutive month in January to the lowest level since January 2003. This high level of affordability likely contributed to the recent two-week rise ending March 2nd in mortgage applications for home purchases.”