The average rate for a 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.54 percent last week from 3.66 percent the week before. Freddie Mac said Thursday. That’s lowest result since the mortgage buyer began tracking it in 1991.
The average rate on the 30-year fixed loan fell to a yearly low of 4.39 percent from 4.55 percent the previous week.
Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. A weakening U.S. economy has led many investors to shift money from stocks to bonds, which are seen as safer bets. That has pushed Treasury yields to their lowest level this year. Bond yields fall as demand increases.
Low mortgage rates and depressed home prices have done little to revive the moribund housing market.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac collects rates from lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.
The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.18 percent, its lowest level on records that go back to January 2005. Last week’s reading of 3.25 percent also was a record low.
The average rate for one-year adjustable-rate loans rose to 3.02 percent from 2.95 percent last week. Last week’s average rate matched the record low set two weeks earlier on records dating back to 1984.
The rates do not include extra fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.
The average fees for the 30-year and 15-year fixed loans and the 5-year adjustable loan were unchanged at 0.8 point, 0.7 point and 0.6 point, respectively. The average fee for the one-year ARM fell to 0.5 point from 0.6 point last week.