By Martin Crutsinger
WASHINGTON — Average U.S. mortgage rates are near historically low levels. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says that the nationwide average rate for a 30-year loan dipped to 4.12 percent, down from 4.14 last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, which had taken a big dip the previous week, was unchanged this week at 3.22 percent. Rates on one-year adjustable mortgages averaged 2.38 percent this week, down from 2.40 percent last week.
Mortgage rates are slightly lower than they were at the same time last year, having fallen recently after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about trimming back the monthly bond purchases it has been using to keep long-term rates low.