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Mortgage rates now lower than a year ago

FILE- This Jan. 4, 2019, file photo shows a house for sale in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

WASHINGTON — Mortgage rates continued their downward trajectory this week, with long-term rates now lower than they were a year ago.

Freddie Mac says a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35 percent in the week ending Feb. 21, down for the third straight week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.40 percent.

Mortgage rates have been holding steady or falling consistently since last November.

“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, continuing the general downward trend since late last year,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater.

Freddie Mac says a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35 percent in the week ending Feb. 21, down for the third straight week. (Courtesy Freddie Mac)

“Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, the spring home sales market should begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”

Fifteen-year fixed rates continue to be lower than popular adjustable rate mortgages. Freddie Mac pegged the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.78 percent this week, below the level from a year ago and lower than the 3.84 percent average for 5-year adjustable rate mortgages.

By way of history, the record low for 30-year mortgages was in December 2012, at 3.31 percent. The record high was in 1981, when 30-year rates averaged more than 18.5 percent.

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