Industries Banking/Finance

European debt crisis helps push mortgage rates to new lows

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The average 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to a record low this week as European debt crisis overshadowed positive U.S. economic news.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.79 percent, down from 3.83 percent last week. A year ago, the average rate was 4.61 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

The average 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate also hit a new low of 3.04 percent, down from 3.05 percent last week. A year ago this week, the average 15-year rate was 3.8 percent.

“The European debt crisis overshadowed improving economic indicators for the U.S. and allowed Treasury bond yields and fixed mortgage rates to ease for another week,” Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a statement. “For instance, industrial production rose 1.1 percent in April—the largest gain since December 2010—and consumer sentiment in May rose to its highest reading since January 2008, according to the University of Michigan.”

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