Mortgage rates are at their lowest level in more than three years, potentially boosting the U.S. housing market as it enters the crucial spring selling season. The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular home loan in the U.S., dropped to 3.45%, according to data released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. That is down from 3.51% a week earlier. This time last year it stood at 4.41% with the rate just under 5% in November 2018. The average rate on the 15-year mortgage also dropped to a three-year low of 2.97%.
The drop in mortgage rates tends to offset the rise in home prices over the last few years. “It’s very much a historical opportunity for folks who have an existing mortgage to refinance and for credit-qualified people to lock in a low rate,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.