15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Fall to Record Low

Mortgage rates
Mortgage rates

WASHINGTON - The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage has fallen to a record low, leading to an increase in refinancing applications. But cheaper loans are unlikely to lift the struggling housing market or boost the weak economy.

The rate on the 15-year loan, a popular refinancing option, dropped to 3.54 percent this week from 3.66 percent last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That's the lowest since the mortgage buyer began tracking it in 1991. Analysts say they believe it is lowest rate of all time.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed loan fell to a yearly low of 4.39 percent from 4.55 percent the previous week.