U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall With 30-Year at the Lowest Since April

U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year loans fell to the lowest level since late April, reducing borrowing costs as the U.S. housing market enters its key selling season.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.72 percent, down from from 3.79 percent last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. The average 15-year rate slipped to 3.01 percent from 3.07 percent, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage-finance company said.

Borrowing costs are declining as turbulent global markets drive investors to the safety of U.S. government bonds. Increased competition for the debt is forcing investors to accept smaller yields, resulting in lower mortgage rates. That may be good news at the start of the prime homebuying season, which traditionally begins after the Super Bowl. The game is this Sunday.

“We’re starting to get closer to the spring homebuying season, and we’re starting from a place of lower interest rates than we would have expected,” Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a Riverdale, New Jersey-based mortgage-data company, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

Mortgage costs were expected to climb after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate in December.

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