Rates on the most popular types of mortgages found more reasons to continue their decline this week, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by another eight basis points (0.08 percent) to 3.81 percent.

Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by five basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.02 percent. In both instances, mortgage rates have fallen by a quarter of a percentage point since the beginning of 2016.

"Amid a state of less-than-stellar economic data and an unsteady global climate, the Fed seems to have modified its stance," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Gone from the statement that closes each meeting was their assessment of the balance of risks to economic growth and inflation, which could signal a greater degree of uncertainty about the outlook for raising interest rates."

With the latest Gross Domestic Product report showing economic growth at a meager 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, and with the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation retreating during that period, financial markets increasingly thinks that the Fed may not lift rates anytime soon. There is a possibility that the next increase will be delayed until June or beyond. Officially, the Fed left open the possibility for an increase in the federal funds rate in March, but that seems to be a waning possibility given the current economic climate.

"In December, the Fed's own expectation was that we might see three or four increases in short-term rates this year," notes Gumbinger. "However, forward-looking market signals suggest that only two or perhaps three moves are a more likely happenstance. This means that mortgage rates are likely to stay lower for a longer period of time than had been expected, presenting opportunities for more homebuyers to get a near record-low mortgage rate."

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending February 2, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

Average rate: 3.81 percent

Average points: 0.17

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

Average rate: 3.02 percent

Average points: 0.10

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending January 26 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

Average Rate: 3.89 percent

Average Points: 0.16

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

Average Rate: 3.07 percent

Average Points: 0.11