Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 3.42 percent

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 9, 2015, file photo, a "Sold" sign is displayed in the yard of a newly-constructed home in the Briar Chapel community in Chapel Hill, N.C. On Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. ... mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File) (The Associated Press)

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates slipped this week to the lowest level since mid-July.

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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.42 percent, lowest since mid-July and down from 3.48 percent last week. The benchmark rate is down from 3.85 percent a year ago and is close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, slipped to 2.72 percent from 2.76 percent.

The rates tumbled after the Federal Reserve decided against raising short-term rates at its meeting last week.

Rates on five-year adjustable mortgages, though, ticked up to 2.81 percent from 2.80 percent.