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US mortgage rates fall this week from 3-month high

In this Oct. 22, 2019, photo a sign stands outside a home for sale in southeast Denver. On Thursday, Nov. 7, Freddie Mac reports on this week’s average U.S. mortgage rates.
In this Oct. 22, 2019, photo a sign stands outside a home for sale in southeast Denver. On Thursday, Nov. 7, Freddie Mac reports on this week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. AP Photo

Mortgage rates slipped this week from the highest level since July and remain at historically low levels that are helping would-be purchasers to buy homes.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.69% from 3.78% last week. That's also down more than a full percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.94%.

Lower rates are helping support the housing market. Sales of existing homes rose nearly 4% in September from a year ago, while new home sales have soared 16% during that time. Yet potential homebuyers still face a shortage of available homes, which is pushing prices higher.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage fell to 3.13% this week from 3.19% a week ago.

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