WASHINGTON – Rates for 30-year home loans edged down for the third straight week and are close to record lows reached over the spring, providing an excellent opportunity for borrowers to save money by refinancing their home loans.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.04 percent, down from 5.07 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday. Rates, while above the record low of 4.78 percent hit in the spring, are still attractive for people looking to buy a home or refinance.
It was the lowest weekly average since the week of May 28, when rates averaged 4.91 percent.
To prop up the housing market and help the economy revive from the worst recession since the 1930s, the Federal Reserve is spending $1.25 trillion on mortgage-backed securities, which has driven down rates on home loans.
That money is set to run out by winter, though some analysts expect the central bank to add more money to the program or allow it to last longer by gradually reducing its purchases.
The average rate on a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.47 percent, from 4.5 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac. That was the lowest level on records dating to 1991.
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