Home loan borrowers are cashing in on historically low mortgage interest rates as a refinancing boom gains momentum.

National mortgage refinance statistics jumped again for the last week in March – up 3 percent from a week earlier and up 68.8 percent for the week ending March 27, on a year-over-year basis.

That news from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) represented a glimmer of hope for those waiting for a real estate market turnaround.

Borrowers making 20 percent down payments, for example, were able to qualify for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rates of 4.61 percent on an average, down from 4.63 percent the previous week. Points – an upfront fee charged by mortgage companies for a specific interest rate — also decreased to 1.03 from 1.13, including the origination fee.

That rate, the MBA said, represented is a new record low for the survey, which dates to 1990.
Average interest rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages – typically slightly lower – stood at 4.45 percent, down from 4.48 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 1.04 from 1.07 for 80 percent loan-to-value loans.