Average interest rates for 15-year and 30-year mortgages both dropped in the week ending Thursday with 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipping from 3.8 percent to 3.78 percent with 0.7 points. Average rates for 30-year mortgages dipped from 4.61 percent to 4.6 percent with 0.7 points, Freddie Mac said.
Rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages a year ago stood at 4.21 percent. Rates for 30-year mortgages a year ago averaged 4.84 percent.
"Fixed mortgage rates eased ... amid reports of slower economic activity. The index of leading indicators fell 0.3 percent in April and represented the first monthly decline since June 2010. In addition, the Federal Reserve banks reported less business and manufacturing activity in Philadelphia, Chicago and Richmond," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist.
"U.S. house prices indexes may be nearing a bottom soon. On a national basis, prices fell 0.3 percent between February and March, which was the smallest decline since November 2009, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In addition, four of the nine Census Regions exhibited positive growth, compared to none in February," Nothaft added.