Average 30-year US mortgage rates fell to 4.12 percent; 15-year loan at 3.3 percent

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

Average U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home.

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Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year loan fell to 4.12 percent from 4.19 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, also declined to 3.3 percent from 3.36 percent.

The 30-year rate is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year.

Rates have fallen even though the Federal Reserve appears set at the end of this month to end its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. Yet Fed officials may continue to hold shorter-term rates at near-zero levels until there are signs of rising inflation.