Long-term mort­gage rates edge lower

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mort­gage rates de­clined this week af­ter two straight weeks of in­creases. The bench­mark 30-year rate slipped back be­low the 4 per­cent level.

Mort­gage buyer Fred­die Mac said Thurs­day that the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mort­gages fell to an av­er­age 3.96 per­cent from 4.03 per­cent last week. It stood at 3.45 per­cent a year ago and av­er­aged a record low 3.65 per­cent in 2016.

The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, pop­u­lar with home­own­ers who are re­fi­nanc­ing their mort­gages, eased to 3.23 per­cent from 3.29 per­cent last week.

Mort­gage rates still re­main his­tor­i­cally low even though the Fed­eral Re­serve has be­gun to ratchet up short-term in­ter­est rates.

To cal­cu­late av­er­age mort­gage rates, Fred­die Mac, the Fed­eral Home Loan Mort­gage Corp., sur­veys lenders across the coun­try be­tween Mon­day and Wed­nes­day each week. The av­er­age doesn’t in­clude ex­tra fees, known as points, which most bor­row­ers must pay to get the low­est rates. One point equals 1 per­cent of the loan amount.

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