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US mortgage rates post biggest weekly drop in decade

Thomas Barrabi

U.S. mortgage rates posted their biggest weekly drop in more than a decade amid concerns about a slowing economy, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped by 22 basis points, down to 4.06 percent with an average 0.5 point from 4.28 percent, for the week ending on March 28, according to the survey’s results. The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.57 percent from 3.71 percent.

“The Federal Reserve’s concern about the prospects for slowing economic growth caused investor jitters to drive down mortgage rates by the largest amount in over ten years,” Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater said. “Despite negative outlooks by some, the economy continues to churn out jobs, which is great for housing demand. We have recently seen home sales start to recover and with this week’s rate drop we expect a continued rise in purchase demand.”

The average 5-year Treasury indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage was 3.75 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from an average of 3.84 percent on week ago.

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The Federal Reserve said last month it would be “patient” about interest rate hikes in 2019 amid signs of a slowing U.S. economy.

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