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Mortgage rates hit lowest level since 2015

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The average long-term U.S. home loan rates slid this quarter to their lowest level since February 2015, attracting prospective purchasers during the spring home buying season, especially in growing metro areas like Orlando.

Freddie Mac (The government agency that purchases Home Mortgages) said the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.59 percent from 3.71 percent during this first quarter of 2016.

The Federal Reserve interest rate policy touched off a large increase in prices of U.S. government bonds. The bond’s yields, moving in the opposite direction from their prices and influencing mortgage rates, fell sharply.

The benchmark rate was far below the 3.66 percent level it reached last year. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 2.88 percent from 2.98 percent last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount. The rate does not also include other fees such as application and administrative fees that increase the APR of the loan.

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