U.S. Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall; 30-Year Loan at 3.51%

mortgage rates
A sold sign in front of the foundation of a pre-constructed home in Derry, N.H., earlier this month. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to fall this week, breaching already historically low levels and offering an incentive to potential homebuyers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.51% from 3.60% last week. The benchmark rate stood at 4.46% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage declined to 3% from 3.04% last week.

Federal Reserve policymakers continued to hold interest rates low at their latest meeting this week. But the Fed chair warned that the viral outbreak in China poses a new threat to the strengthening global economy.