Washington Mortgage rates around the country edged down this week, good news for the housing industry, one of the few bright spots in a mostly lackluster economy.
The average interest rate on a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage dipped to 5.82 percent for the week ending April 18, Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday in its weekly nationwide survey. This week's rate was down from last week's rate of 5.85 percent.
In the middle of March, rates on 30-year mortgages declined to a record low rate of 5.61 percent. That rate was the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking 30-year mortgages in 1971.
Low mortgage rates propelled home sales to record levels last year.
"Housing is posed for another exceptional year," said Freddie Mac's chief economist, Frank Nothaft. "For the year so far, mortgage rates have been continually under 6 percent as opposed to last year when rates averaged about a half percentage point higher."