Mortgage Rates Fall as Spring Homebuying Season Gets Going










Mortgage rates declined for a second week, sending costs for 30-year loans to their lowest in more than a month as the busiest homebuying season gets under way.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.69%, down from 3.78% last week and matching the Feb. 12 level, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. The average 15-year rate slid to 2.97% from 3.06%, according to the McLean, Va.-based mortgage-finance company.

Borrowing costs tracked the drop in yields for 10-year U.S. Treasuries, which have fallen on investor speculation that the Federal Reserve isn’t in a hurry to raise the benchmark interest rate.

“Low mortgage rates are a welcome sign for those in the market to buy a home this spring season and will help to support homebuyer affordability,” Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in the statement.

While Fed policy makers last week said a rate increase in April is unlikely, they left the door open to June, provided inflation targets are met and the job market continues to improve.

Homeowners seeking to cut their monthly bills before rates climb drove up mortgage applications in the week ended March 20. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s refinancing index jumped 12.3%, the biggest gain since January. The purchase measure rose 4.9%.

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