WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell again to new record lows. The decline suggests the Federal Reserve’s stimulus efforts may be having an effect on mortgage rates.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.40 percent. That’s down from last week’s rate of 3.49 percent, which was the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, fell to 2.73 percent, down from the record low of 2.77 percent last week.
The Fed is spending $40 billion a month to buy mortgage-backed securities. The goal is to lower mortgage rates and help the housing recovery. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the program will continue until there is substantial improvement in the job market. Some economists expect mortgage rates to fall even further because of the Fed’s bond purchases.The Associated Press