Mortgage Rates for 30-Year U.S. Loans Drop to Lowest Since 2013by
Mortgage rates for 30-year U.S. loans dropped to the lowest level in almost three years, aiding homebuyers during the housing market’s busiest season for transactions.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.58 percent, down from from 3.59 percent last week and the lowest since May 2013, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. The average 15-year rate slipped to 2.86 percent from 2.88 percent, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage-finance company said.
Mortgage rates have tumbled since the start of the year as concerns of a slowing global economy drove investors to the safety of the government bonds that guide consumer debt. Steady job growth has been fueling demand for a tight supply of listings during the key U.S. spring buying season. While competition among home shoppers is pushing up prices, low interest rates are giving buyers an incentive.
“The persistent weakness in the global economy has been a boon to mortgage shoppers,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, said in a phone interview. “It brought rates lower in a year we widely expected them to go higher.”
The average 30-year rate has been below 4 percent since the start of the year. It reached a record of 3.31 percent in November 2012.
Mortgage rates aren’t likely to spike anytime soon. The Federal Reserve decided to hold interest rates unchanged last month to wait for more clarity on whether slower growth abroad will hobble the U.S. economy. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Time Magazine in an interview published Wednesday that she favors a “cautious approach” to setting monetary policy.