WASHINGTON - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to near its record low set earlier this month.
The rate on the most popular mortgage dipped to 3.37 percent from 3.39 last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says. Two weeks ago, the rate reached 3.36 percent, its lowest level on records dating to 1971.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, often used for refinancing, set a record low of 2.66 percent, down from last week's 2.7 percent.
Cheaper mortgages are helping fuel a modest but steady housing recovery.
The average rate on the 30-year loan has remained below 4 percent all year. And rates have fallen even further since the Federal Reserve started buying mortgage bonds in September to try to encourage more borrowing and spending.