WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell after three weeks of increases, edging closer to historically low levels.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.28 percent from 4.37 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.32 percent from 3.39 percent. A report released Tuesday by real estate data provider CoreLogic showed that U.S. home prices rose 0.9 percent in January after three months of declines, as a tight supply of properties likely supported prices despite slower sales.
Economists say such outsize price gains might not continue much longer, however. The harsh winter weather of recent weeks appears to have kept the economy in check. Sales of existing homes plunged in January to the slowest pace in 18 months, hit by the weather, higher interest rates and rising home prices.