Long-term U.S. mortgage rates stayed near 2016 lows this week, potentially good news for the housing market as the spring home-buying season begins.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 3.59 percent from 3.58 percent last week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 2.85 percent, lowest since May 2013, and down from 2.86 percent last week.
The rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages slipped to 2.81 percent from 2.84 percent last week.
Lower than mid-December 2015
Mortgage rates are lower than they were in mid-December when the Federal Reserve raised short-term rates for the first time since 2006. The Fed hike was expected to be the first of several and would push mortgage and other rates higher. Instead, weakness in the global economy has helped keep rates low.
Spring House Shopping Season
The spring house-shopping season has gotten off to a solid start. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales of existing homes rose 5.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million. The low rates have made it easier for buyers to afford homes.