Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, moving closer to historically low levels.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 3.47 percent from 3.52 percent last week. The benchmark rate is down from 3.76 percent a year ago and close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, ticked down to 2.78 percent from 2.79 percent.
The low rates have continued to lure buyers into the market. Data issued Thursday by the National Association of Realtors showed that more people signed contracts to buy homes in September, an...