US 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falls below 7%

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The average rate on the popular U.S. 30-year mortgage rate fell below 7% this week for the first time in more than a month, which could help revive the housing market’s waning fortunes.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.94% during the week ending May 23, the lowest level and first reading below 7% since the second week of April, down from 7.02% in the prior week, mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac said on Thursday.

It averaged 6.57% during the same period a year ago. Data this month showed the housing market taking a step back in April after a strong performance in the first quarter. Existing and new home sales fell last month. Single-family housing starts and building permits also declined in April.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani)

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