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Mortgage rates almost drop to another record low — here’s why a housing market slowdown won’t necessarily push them lower

The housing sector is going through a major upheaval because of the coronavirus, but that won’t necessarily translate to lower mortgage rates

By Jacob Passy

Mortgage rates remained near another record low for the third straight week. If a new low comes, it may not be because the U.S. housing market is struggling.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.31% during the week ending April 16, representing a decline of two basis points from a week ago, Freddie Mac FMCC, +10.44% reported Thursday. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17%.

The average rate for a 30-year home loan dropped to an all-time low of 3.29% in early March as concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak began to mount.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage fell six basis points over this last week, averaging 3.34%. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage, meanwhile, increased three basis points to an average of 2.8%.

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