“WASHINGTON – Average long-term US mortgage rates slid this week to their lowest level since February 2015, luring prospective purchasers during the spring home-buying season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year,fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.59% from 3.71% last week. The benchmark rate was far below the 3.66% level it marked a year ago.
The average rate on 15-year fixed rate mortgages declined to 2.88% from 2.98% last week.
A recent speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed the Fed’s plans to move slowly in raising the interest rates it controls. That prospect has tamped down mortgage rates. The signals on Fed interest-rate policy touched off a steep increase in prices of US government bonds. The bond’s yields, moving in the opposite direction from the prices and influencing mortgage rates, fell sharply.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-yr mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-yr loan also held steady, at 0.4 point.”
SOURCE: Associated Press/Asheville Citizen-Times