30-year mortgage rates approach all-time lows

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Mortgage rates tumbled in the past two weeks, approaching all-time lows as the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union drove down Treasury yields.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.41% this week, down from 3.48% a week ago and 4.04% a year ago, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year rate has dropped 15 basis points in the past two weeks, leaving it only 10 basis points above the record low of 3.31% set in November of 2012.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.74% this week. It stood at 2.78% last week and 3.20% a year ago.

The five-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage edged down to 2.68% from 2.70% last week and 2.93% a year ago.

As investors fled to the perceived safety of U.S. Treasury bonds after the Brexit vote, the 10-year Treasury yield sank from 1.75% on June 23 to 1.39% on Thursday.

Despite low mortgage rates, high home prices and fast-growing sales created a shortage of affordable houses. The median price of existing houses sold hit a record high in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales of homes valued below $100,000 fell 1.6% in May, while sales of expensive houses stoked total growth to the fastest pace since 2007. A 15-basis point drop in the 30-year rate offers little help.

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