Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 4.04 percent; 15-year loan slips to 3.21 percent

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, retreating from highs for the year and amplifying the incentive for prospective home buyers.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.04 percent from 4.09 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.21 percent from 3.25 percent.

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As in recent weeks, mortgage rates followed the yield on the key 10-year Treasury note, which declined. Bond yields for Treasurys were pushed lower by a rise in bond prices. The yield on the 10-year note eased to 2.33 percent Wednesday from 2.36 percent a week earlier. It held steady in trading Thursday morning at 2.33 percent.