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WASHINGTON (AP) – May 30, 2019 – U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fifth consecutive week, tipping the key 30-year loan average below 4% for the first time in nearly a year and a half.

The declining rates have been a boon to potential purchasers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.99% from 4.06% last week. It was the first time it ran below 4% since January 2018. By contrast, a year ago the benchmark rate stood at 4.56%.

The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans declined this week to 3.46% from 3.51%.

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