Up and down, it's like mortgage rates can't find a direction.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fixed mortgage rates fell this week, and the rate on the 15-year loan dropped to its lowest point of the year.
The average rate on the 30-year loan decreased to 4.51 percent from 4.60 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said Thursday. It reached its yearly low a month ago, at 4.49 percent.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, popular for refinancing, fell to 3.65 percent from 3.75 percent. Its previous low this year was 3.67 percent, reached three weeks ago.
Rates typically track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Yields fell sharply last week after dismal jobs data pushed investors into the safety of government bonds. Yields fall as prices rise.
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Low mortgage rates and depressed home values have done little to revive the struggling housing market. Many people can't take advantage of the low rates because of tighter lending standards and higher downpayment requirements. Lenders are cautious because the weak economy and high unemployment make it more likely that some borrowers will default.