Mortgage rates drop sharply this week

Freddie Mac: Dip coincides with reports on inflation, retail sales, rate cut

Long-term mortgage rates tumbled this week after the Fed cut a key short-term interest rate and on news that inflation in February was weaker than expected, Freddie Mac reported today.

The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 5.87 percent from last week’s 6.13 percent, and the average 15-year fixed rate plunged to 5.27 percent from 5.6 percent.

To qualify for these rates, borrowers must pay points, or fees that lenders charge for loan processing expressed as a percent of the loan, which this week averaged 0.5 on the 30- and 15-year loans.