Average U.S. 30-Year Mortgage Rate Eases to 3.47 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) -
FILE - This June 4, 2015, file photo, shows a sign indicating a site has been sold in a new home development in Nashville, Tenn. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, that average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged higher during the week following three straight weeks of declines, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise its key short-term interest rate next week. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, moving closer to historically low levels.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 3.47 percent from 3.52 percent last week. The benchmark rate is down from 3.76 percent a year ago and close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, ticked down to 2.78 percent from 2.79 percent.