WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year mortgage fell closer this week to its historic low and the 15-year rate marked a new record low. Low rates are increasing the affordability of buying homes and refinancing.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan slipped to 3.40 percent from 3.41 percent last week. That's near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating back to 1971.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 2.61 percent from 2.64 percent last week. That's below the previous record low of 2.63 percent in November, the lowest since the 1990s.
Low mortgage rates are helping drive a housing recovery that began last year. Home prices and construction are increasing.