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Mortgage Rates Fall in Time for Spring: Freddie Mac

As the temperature have crept up, mortgage rates have gone down, making for a positive start to the spring home-buying season, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Freddie Mac's weekly survey found that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped this week to 3.78% from 3.86% the week prior, according to a March 19 news release. This figure is more than 0.5% lower than during the same period in 2014.

For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, the average rate also fell — albeit just slightly — to 3.06% from 3.10% a week ago. At this same time in 2014, 15-year FRMs stood at an average rate of 3.32%.

The average rate for a 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage also dropped only a small amount week-to-week to 2.97% from 3.01%. The only product not to experience a rate decrease was the 1-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage, which was unchanged at 2.46%.

Mixed housing data helped push the fairly modest drops in rates, according to Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer.

"Housing starts dropped 17% to a seasonally adjusted pace of 897,000 units, below market expectations. However, housing permits increased 3% in February," Kiefer said in a press release accompanying the survey. "As we head into spring, home builders remain positive about home sales in the near future although the NAHB Housing Market Index dropped another 2 points to 53 in March."

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