WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a new low last week, and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined.
Cheaper mortgage rates have encouraged home-buying and refinancing.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.56%. That's the lowest on records dating to 1991. It fell from 2.61% last week, the previous record.
The rate on 30-year loans declined to 3.35% from 3.40% last week. That's near the average of 3.31%in November, lowest rate on records dating back to 1971.
Low mortgage rates have helped sustain a housing recovery that began last year. Home prices and sales are rising, and construction is up.
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