Mortgage rates drop for third straight week

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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.