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30-year mortgage rate drops to 3.59 percent

– Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell last week and are just slightly above record lows reached this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.59 percent, down from 3.66 percent the previous week. Five weeks ago, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, slipped to 2.86 percent. That’s down from 2.89 percent a week earlier and from the record low of 2.80 percent five weeks ago.

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