May 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

Average U.S. 30-year mortgage rate down to 4.12 percent

Washington Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for a fifth straight week. The spring home-buying season has started slowly, but it may be aided by the low rates.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year loan edged down to 4.12 percent from 4.14 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage declined to 3.21 percent from 3.25 percent.

Warmer weather has yet to boost home-buying as it normally does. Rising prices and higher interest rates beginning in mid-2013 have made homes less affordable for would-be buyers. At the same time, a limited supply of homes is available to buy.

Mortgage rates still are nearly a full percentage point above record lows reached about a year ago.