15-year loans hit new low
WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell last week to its lowest level on record, making refinancing and home-buying more attractive to those who can qualify.
Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 15-year fixed loan fell to 2.61 percent. That's the lowest rate on records dating to 1991. The previous record low of 2.63 percent was hit in November.
The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage also moved closer to its record low, dropping to 3.40 percent. That's down from 3.41 percent last week and just above the previous record of 3.31 percent, also hit in November.
Low mortgage rates are helping drive a housing recovery. Home prices are rising. Sales of new and previously occupied homes are up this year. And builders broke ground on homes in March at the fastest annual pace in nearly five years.