WASHINGTON (AP) – Aug. 22, 2014 – Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, with the 30-year loan rate hitting its 52-week low.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.10 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped to 3.23 percent from 3.24 percent.

Mortgage rates have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.

Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year note traded at 2.43 percent Wednesday, close to its low for the year of 2.41 percent. It was trading at 2.42 percent at midday Thursday. Bond yields rise when bond prices fall.

At its 52-week low of 4.10 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Fed has been trimming its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. The purchases are set to end in October.

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved