Mortgage rates drop

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Mortgage rates fell this week at the start of the spring homebuying season.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.54 percent, down from 3.63 percent last week. Last year, the rate was an average of 4.08 percent.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage average also dropped. It fell to 2.72 percent, down from 2.79 percent last week.

“Low and stable inflation is placing downward pressure on fixed mortgage rates.,” Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in a statement. “Annual growth in the consumer price index has remained at or below 2 percent for the past four months, and for the producer price index even lower. This, in part, is why the Federal Reserve monetary policy committee on March 20th lowered the upper end of its inflation forecast for 2013.”
Nothaft said that Freddie Mac expects mortgage rates to remain below 4 percent through this year. Rates have been below 4 percent for about a year.

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