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US long-term mortgage rates steady; 30-year loan at 3.68%

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates held steady this week amid mixed signs in the housing market. Rates remain at historically low levels as a lure to prospective homebuyers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged from the previous week at 3.68%. The benchmark rate stood at 4.75% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage ticked down to 3.14% this week from 3.15% last week.

A government report issued this week showed that spending on U.S. construction projects fell 0.8% in October, dragged down by declines in apartment and multifamily homebuilding. But spending on single-family home construction increased 1.6%, helping offset some of the losses elsewhere in the private construction category.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week to compile its mortgage rate figures. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average fee on 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The average fee for the 15-year mortgage fell to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.39% from 3.43%. The fee increased to 0.4 point from 0.3 point.

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