Mortgage rates declined for the third straight week, with lenders on average offering 3.63 percent on a 30-year fixed loan, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.
The mortgage-finance giant said that this week’s rate for a 30-year mortgage fell from 3.66 percent last week and 4.39 percent a year earlier. Lenders offered a 15-year fixed loan at an average of 2.93 percent, compared to 2.98 percent last week and 3.44 percent last year.
Concerns over Asian and European economies have driven rates down to their lowest levels since May 2013.
The steady decline has spurred a resurgence in mortgage applications as borrowers look to lock in the historically low rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that applications to refinance climbed 22 percent last week from a week earlier, while loan applications to purchase homes dipped 3 percent.
A week earlier, both refinances and purchase loans soared.
Freddie Mac’s survey asks lenders about the terms they offer low-risk borrowers on loans up to $417,000.
Actual rates are influenced by many factors, including a borrower’s debt load and credit history.