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Mortgage Rates Slide to Fresh 2017 Low as Inflation Slips Through Fed’s Fingers

The benchmark rate for home loans remained in free fall in the most recent week in the wake of lackluster economic data that hinted the central bank may be slower to raise interest rates than it expects, mortgage provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94%, down one basis point during the week and marking a fresh 2017 low. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.19%, unchanged for the week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.11%, up four basis points.

It was the third-straight weekly decline for the 30-year fixed, which represents the vast majority of the mortgage market. According to a report from the Urban Institute, the 30-year fixed made up 89.6% of purchase mortgages in February.

The 10-year Treasury yield, which mortgage rates loosely track, fell four basis points during the week after tepid inflation data suggested the Federal Reserve may have to scale back its interest rate-hike forecasts.