Freddie Mac: 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Averaged 3.51%

By Tess Stynes

Average fixed mortgage rates in the U.S. fell over the past week after remaining mostly unchanged over the past month, according to mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac .

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said mortgage rates eased somewhat last week though economic data continues to show signs the housing market is improving, including reports that the number of existing and new home sales during February hit the highest levels since July of 2007 and July 2008, respectively.

For the week ended Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51%, compared with 3.56% the previous week and 3.9% a year earlier. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.76%, versus 2.77% a week earlier and 3.17% a year ago.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, averaged 2.61%, compared with 2.64% the previous week and the 2.83% rate set a year earlier.

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