WASHINGTON - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, approaching their lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year loan rate hovered near 4 per cent.
Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage slipped to 4.01 per cent from 4.02 per cent last week. The 30-year rate, which stood at 4.53 per cent back in January, now is at its lowest level since June 2013.
The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, ticked down to 3.20 per cent from to 3.21 per cent.
Long-term rates recovered in recent weeks following a five-week decline that had sparked a wave of homeowners looking to refinance mortgages at a bargain rate.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac 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 per cent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.5 point.
The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.02 per cent from 2.97 per cent. The fee was steady at 0.5 point.
For a one-year ARM, the average rate declined to 2.43 per cent from 2.45 per cent. The fee held at 0.4 point.