U.S. fixed mortgage rates virtually held steady this week and remained near historically low levels, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) edged down slightly to 4. 12 percent in the week ending Thursday from 4.14 percent in the previous week, lower than 4.29 percent of the same period last year, the U.S. mortgage giant said in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 15-year FRM, a popular guide for those looking to refinance, stayed unchanged at 3.22 percent this week, also lower than 3.39 percent of a year ago, the survey showed.
"Mortgage rates were little changed from the previous week and remain below levels seen the same time last year, which should provide some help with homebuyer affordability in many markets," said Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft in a statement.
"Recent housing data was better with pending home sales up 6.1 percent in May and overall construction spending showing a slight improvement with private residential spending now up 7.5 percent on yearly basis," he added.
U.S. mortgage rates have fallen recently as the housing market slowly recovers from the brutally cold winter. Analysts said the improving job market will help bolster housing demand in the coming months. U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped to an almost six-year low of 6.1 percent, the Labor Department said Thursday.