Mortgage rates fall
WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage touched its record low this week and the rate on 15-year mortgage hit a new record.
The declines followed an announcement last week by the Federal Reserve that it would buy bonds to try to push mortgage rates lower and stimulate the housing market.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.49 percent from 3.55 percent last week.
That matched the lowest rate since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, plunged to 2.77 percent, a new record.
Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest housing recovery this year.
Last week the Fed said it plans to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds for as long as it thinks necessary to make home buying more affordable.