Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates slipped under 4 percent in the week ending Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.
Rates for 30-year contracts spent just one week above 4 percent before diving back down to 3.99 percent with 0.7 point for the week. A year earlier, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.86 percent.
Prior to last week, rates for 30-year loans had not risen above 4 percent since the week ending Oct. 27.
Average rates for 15-year fixed-rate contracts fell from 3.3 percent to 3.23 percent with 0.8 point, Freddie Mac said.
In the same week of 2011, the average rate for 15-year loans stood at 4.09 percent.
Five-year adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.9 percent for the week with an average 0.8 point, down from last week's average rate of 2.96 percent. A year earlier, five-year adjustable rate contracts averaged 3.7 percent.
One year Treasury-indexed adjustable mortgage rates fell in the week from 2.84 percent to 2.78 percent with 0.6 point. A year ago, rates for these loans averaged 3.26 percent.
Mortgage rates dropped due to weak data in the housing market. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index said prices of homes fell for the ninth consecutive month in January. New home sales and pending home sales also dropped in the month, said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.
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