Mortgage Rates Lowest Since Late May

The Associated Press

McLEAN, Va. (AP) - Average rates on 30-year mortgages slid to the lowest levels since May this week, Freddie Mac said.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.12 percent, down from 5.29 percent last week, Freddie Mac said. At this time last year, the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 6.47 percent.

Low mortgage rates can spur refinance activity and make home buying more attractive. The last time rates for 30-year mortgages were this low was the week of May 28, when they were 4.91 percent.

Rates on 30-year mortgages fell to a record low of 4.78 percent in April, but then rose to 5.6 percent after yields on long-term government debt, which are closely tied to mortgage rates, climbed.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said Treasury bond yields fell nearly a quarter of a percentage point over the week, bringing mortgage rates down.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose Thursday to 3.48 percent from 3.46 percent late Wednesday.

Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.56 percent, down from 4.68 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.57 percent, down from 4.75 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 4.69 from 4.72 percent.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. The nationwide fee averaged 0.7 point last week for 30-year and 15-year mortgages. Fees averaged 0.6 point for five-year adjustable-rate loans and 0.5 point for one-year adjustable-rate loans.

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