WASHINGTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. fixed mortgage rates fell slightly this week and remained near historically low levels, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) edged down slightly to 4. 12 percent in the week ending Thursday from 4.13 percent in the previous week, lower than 4.39 percent of the same period last year, the U.S. mortgage giant said in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 15-year FRM, a popular guide for those looking to refinance, dropped to 3.23 percent this week from 3.26 percent in the prior week, also lower than 3.43 percent of a year ago, the survey showed.
"Mortgage rates were little changed this week," said Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft in a statement. "Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon the yield on the 10-year Treasury surged as data showed gross domestic product for the second quarter at a 4.0 percent annualized rate, above expectations."
The better-than-expected growth in the second quarter verified that U.S. economy was back on an upward trajectory after sharp contraction in the first three months of this year.
But the recovery in the housing sector remains slow in recent months. Analysts said the declining mortgage rates and improving job market may help bolster housing demand in the next few months.