The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.80% in the week that ended Dec. 18, hitting the lowest rate since May 2013, from 3.93% in the prior week, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage-buyer Freddie Mac. Long-term rates were near record low levels in early May 2013, and started rising later that month on market speculation about the timing of the Federal Reserve tapering its massive asset-purchase program that exerted downward pressure on rates. A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 4.47%. The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.09% in the latest week from 3.20% in the prior week. Meanwhile, the rate for a 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage declined to 2.95% from 2.98%. The rate for a 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM ticked down to 2.38% from 2.40%.
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