WASHINGTON (AP) – Nov. 14, 2014 – Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, approaching their lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year loan rate hovered near 4 percent.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage slipped to 4.01 percent from 4.02 percent last week. The 30-year rate, which stood at 4.53 percent back in January, now is at its lowest level since June 2013.

The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, ticked down to 3.20 percent from to 3.21 percent.

Long-term rates recovered in recent weeks following a five-week decline that had sparked a wave of homeowners looking to refinance mortgages at a bargain rate.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.5 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.02 percent from 2.97 percent. The fee was steady at 0.5 point.

For a one-year ARM, the average rate declined to 2.43 percent from 2.45 percent. The fee held at 0.4 point.

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved