Markets & Economy

Mortgage rates drop for third straight week

Retail spending, consumer sentiment declines

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Mortgage rates crept lower for the third straight week as reports showed weakness in retail spending and consumer sentiment. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.41 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 18, down from 3.43 percent last week and 3.9 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 3.31 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, 2012. For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 2.64 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 2.65 percent last week and 3.13 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1991 of 2.63 percent during the week ending Nov. 21, 2012. For five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, rates averaged 2.60 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 2.62 percent last week and 2.78 percent a year ...