WASHINGTON - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, a continuing boon for potential homebuyers.
Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage declined to 3.89 percent this week from 3.97 percent last week. It is now at its lowest level since May 2013.
Rates are about a half-point lower than at the beginning of the year, when the benchmark 30-year rate stood at 4.53 percent. Rates have fallen in recent weeks amid economic slowdowns in Europe and China, and the start of a recession in Japan.
The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, declined to 3.10 percent from 3.17 percent last week.