30-Year Mortgage Rate Falls to 3.66 Percent; 15-Year Below 3 Percent

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

It’s been another good week for prospective home buyers and mortgage refinancers, as average fixed-mortgage rates slipped for the third consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac.

The agency’s weekly survey showed that the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.66 percent, down from 3.73 percent last week and 4.41 percent a year ago. That puts the average rate on par with its level in mid-May 2013.

Average rates on a 15-year mortgage also slid this week, to 2.98 percent, from 3.05 percent last week and 3.45 percent a year ago. It was the first time since May 30, 2013 that the interest rate on that loan product fell below 3 percent.

“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week as oil prices plummeted and long-term Treasury yields continued to drop despite a strong employment report,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the volume of mortgage applications for the week ended Jan. 9 increased 49 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Applications for mortgage refinancings rose 66 percent from the previous week, to the highest level seen since July 2013.