Mortgage rates hit new low for 2017

Freddie Mac says average fees remained the same for 30- and 15-year loans

Homebuyers sitting on the sidelines may want to think about getting in the game, with U.S. mortgage rates falling for the fourth week in a row and reaching a new low for the year.

The benchmark 30-year rate dropped to 4.08 percent this week from 4.10 percent, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. The rate is below the prior low of 4.09 percent during the week of January 19, the Associated Press reported.  It’s still higher than last year, which averaged 3.65 percent, the lowest since 1971.

As for 15-year mortgages, rates slid to 3.34 percent this from 3.36 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, the average fee for both 30-year and 15-year mortgages held steady at 0.5 point.

Long-term mortgage rates are impacted by bond yields, which tumbled last week on the heels of the March jobs report. Employers added 98,000 jobs in March, compared to an average of 178,000 a month over the past three months, according to U.S. jobs data.

Low investor confidence boosted prices for bonds and caused yields on 10-year Treasury notes to drop to 2.24 percent on Wednesday from 2.23 percent the week before. [AP] — E.B. Solomont

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