WASHINGTON – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week. It was the fifth straight weekly decline for the benchmark 30-year rate, which again reached a new low for the year.
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Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.82 percent from 3.86 percent last week. A year ago, the rate stood at 3.46 percent. It averaged 3.65 percent for all of last year.
The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans dipped to 3.12 percent from 3.16 percent last week. Those loans are popular with homeowners refinancing their mortgages.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday 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 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also remained at 0.5 point.
Rates on adjustable five-year loans fell to 3.14 percent from 3.17 percent last week. The fee was steady at 0.5 point.