Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.78 percent; 15-year rate down to 3.06 percent

Home Mortgage Associated Press

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, remaining near historically low levels at the start of the spring home-buying season.

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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.78 percent from 3.86 percent last week.

The average rate for a 15-year mortgage, popular with homeowners who refinance, slipped to 3.06 percent from 3.10 percent last week.

A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.32 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.32 percent. Mortgage rates have remained low even though the Federal Reserve in October ended its monthly bond purchases, designed to hold down long-term rates.

The Fed has kept short-term rates near zero for over six years, and signaled Wednesday that it's still not ready to start raising them.