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Mortgage rate averages dip in mid-April


Mortgage rates remained low in the second half of April.

The residential housing market continued to experience a heightened level of affordability during April, as average mortgage interest rates fell lower.

Overall, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.41 percent during the week ending April 18, a report from Freddie Mac explained. This was down from the previous level of 3.43 percent.

The 15-year FRM also experienced an average drop. The latest figure was 2.64 percent, which was a weekly decline from the previous level of 2.65 percent, Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey explained.

"Mortgage rates nudged lower this week as consumer spending showed signs of weakness," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "Retail sales contracted for the second time in three months, falling 0.4 percent in March. In addition, the University of Michigan reported their Consumer Sentiment Index dropped 6.3 points in April to settle at 72.3, its lowest level since July. The April reading snapped a streak of three consecutive gains."

The continued low rates may play a role in the heightened level of mortgage applications in recent weeks. For the week ending April 12, there was a mortgage application jump of nearly 5 percent, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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