Mortgage rates fall
WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages fell this week as the latest data continued to indicate a pause in the housing market’s recovery.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.23 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan dipped to 3.33 percent from 3.40 percent.
Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago. The rise was driven by speculation the Federal Reserve would cut its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.
Data released Tuesday by real estate specialist CoreLogic showed U.S. home prices slipped from November to December, and the year-over-year increase slowed, likely a result of weaker sales.
Most economists expect home sales and prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower pace.