Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell to another year-to-date low in the past week, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The average rate declined for the fifth consecutive week to an average of 3.82 percent. That was down from 3.86 the week before and 3.89 percent two weeks before.
The latest decline coincided with a 4-basis-point decline in the 10-year Treasury yield last week, which also fell to a new 2017 low.
The average 15-year fixed rate fell by the same amount, from 3.16 percent to 3.12 percent last week. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.14 in the past week, down from 3.17 the previous week.
Treasury prices have been rising, which has pushed yields lower. Mortgage rates tend to move in roughly the same pattern as Treasury yields. Mortgage rates typically remain higher than Treasury yields because they are a riskier investment. Thus, as Treasuries rise or fall, so do mortgage rates.
Treasury yields have fallen due to economic data showing that inflation is not rising to the point to enable the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
Freddie Mac suggested in its weekly report, however, that recent economic reports may halt the downward trend of mortgage rates. Specifically, both personal income and consumer spending experienced gains in the most recent economic reports.