WASHINGTON - Mortgage rates around the country fell last week for the first time since the middle of last month.
The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 6.04 percent for the week ending Friday, Freddie Mac reported Thursday in its weekly nationwide survey. That was down from 6.19 percent the previous week.
Last week's rates marked the first time rates on 30-year, 15-year and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell since the week ending Nov. 15.
At that time, rates on 30-year mortgages dropped to 5.94 percent, the lowest level since the mortgage giant began tracking them in 1971.
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, dipped to 5.46 percent last week, down from the previous week's 5.60 percent.
Home sales - powered by low mortgage rates - are expected to post records this year.
"Freddie Mac's most recent economic forecast indicates that next year's housing sector, though slower than this year's, will nevertheless continue to thrive," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages decreased to 4.18 percent last week, compared with 4.21 percent the previous week.
Last week's mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points.