Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Slide to the Lowest Since July 2016

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© Reuters. Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Slide to the Lowest Since July 2016© Reuters. Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Slide to the Lowest Since July 2016

(Bloomberg) — Mortgage rates in the U.S. declined, giving homebuyers a crack at the lowest borrowing costs in more than three years.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.45%, down from 3.51% last week and the lowest since July 2016, Freddie Mac data showed Thursday. The 15-year average slipped to 2.97% from 3%.

Fears of a coronavirus pandemic have fueled a global rush for safe assets, sending the Treasury yields that guide mortgage rates sliding. That provides a window for homeowners looking to refinance into cheaper loans, and helps make purchases more affordable.

“The combination of very low mortgage rates, a strong economy and more positive financial market sentiment all point to home purchase demand continuing to rise over the next few months,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement.

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