Mortgage rates just fell to a 12-month low

WASHINGTON — For all the fretting over rising mortgage rates, they continue to do just the opposite.

Mortgage rates have been steadily falling or holding ground since last November, and the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now the lowest in a year.

Freddie Mac says a 30-year fix averaged 4.37 percent this week, compared to 4.38 percent a year ago.

For buyers that can afford the bigger payment, a 15-year fixed rate is now a bit lower than popular adjustable rate mortgages. For the week ending Feb. 14, the average 15-year fix was 3.81 percent, versus 3.88 percent for a five-year treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage.

“The combination of cooling inflation and slower global economic growth led mortgage rates to drift down to the lowest levels in a year,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater.

“While housing activity has clearly softened over the last nine months and the lingering effects of higher rates from last year are still being felt, lower mortgage rates and a strong job market should rekindle demand for the spring homebuying season.”

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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