Mortgage rates retreat again

Purchase loan demand jumps ahead of FHA premium increases

Mortgage rates eased slightly this week, and demand for purchase loans picked up last week to the highest level in months ahead of a scheduled increase in FHA premiums, surveys show.

Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 3.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 5, down from 3.99 percent last week and 4.87 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.87 percent during the first three weeks of February.