US average mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 4.31 percent

In this Feb. 20, 2019, photo a sold sign sits outside a home in north Dallas. On Thursday, March 14, Freddie Mac reports on this week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year home loan reaching its lowest level in more than a year as a potential inducement to homebuyers.

Continued uncertainty over Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union suppressed interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds and consequently mortgage rates. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.31 percent from 4.41 percent the previous week. The latest 30-year average rate was the lowest since February 2018. The average stood at 4.44 percent a year ago. Mortgage rates climbed for much of 2018 and peaked at nearly 5 percent in early November.

The average rate this week for 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 3.76 percent from 3.83 percent a week earlier.

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