WASHINGTON — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, dipped below 3% for the first time since then.
Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage slid to 3.66% this week from 3.73% last week. The rate for the 15-year loan declined to 2.98% from 3.05% last week.
The ongoing decline in rates lured a crop of prospective buyers, as applications for mortgages marked their biggest weekly gain last week in over six years. Applications jumped 49.1%, the biggest weekly increase since November 2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.