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Mortgage rates for 30-year US loans fall to lowest since 2013

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US mortgage rates fell, with the 30-year average at a three-year low, as a disappointing jobs report helped drive investors to the safety of the government bonds that guide loan costs.

[NEW YORK] US mortgage rates fell, with the 30-year average at a three-year low, as a disappointing jobs report helped drive investors to the safety of the government bonds that guide loan costs.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.57 per cent, down from from 3.61 per cent last week and the lowest since May 2013, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. The average 15-year rate slipped to 2.81 per cent from 2.86 per cent, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage-finance company said.

Yields for 10-year Treasuries declined after Labor Department figures released last week showed the US added the fewest jobs in seven months in April. Federal Reserve policy makers are monitoring employment and other areas of the economy as they consider when to raise interest rates next. They took no action at their last meeting and said they would make any further moves gradually, signaling that mortgage costs probably won't spike anytime soon.

"Prospective homebuyers will continue to take advantage of a falling rate environment that has seen mortgage rates drop in 14 of the previous 19 weeks," Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in the statement.

The average rate for a 30-year mortgage has been below 4 per cent since the beginning of the year. It fell to a record of 3.31 per cent in November 2012.

BLOOMBERG