Mortgage rates fall
WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a fifth straight week. The spring home-buying season has started slowly, but it may be aided by the low rates.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year loan edged down to 4.12 percent from 4.14 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage declined to 3.21 percent from 3.25 percent.
Warmer weather has yet to boost home-buying as it normally does. Rising prices and higher interest rates beginning in mid-2013 have made homes less affordable for would-be buyers.
At the same time, a limited supply of homes is available to buy. New construction has focused increasingly on rental apartments, instead of single-family homes.
Mortgage rates still are nearly a full percentage point above record lows reached about a year ago.