Average interest rates for 15-year and 30-year mortgages both dropped in the week ending Thursday with 15-year, fixed-rate loans falling from 4.02 percent to 3.97 percent with 0.7 points. Average rates for 30-year mortgages in the week fell from 4.8 percent to 4.78 percent with 0.7 points, Freddie Mac said.
Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages a year ago stood at 4.39 percent. Rates for 30-year mortgages a year ago averaged 5.06 percent.
Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft said, "Mortgage rates followed Treasury bond yields lower this week amid weak local economic data reports on business conditions and house prices."
"Regional Federal Reserve Banks reported that business and manufacturing activities declined in Philadelphia, Dallas and Richmond in April. In addition, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index recorded year-over-year declines through February in 19 of the 20 markets," he said in a statement.