Fixed mortgage rates chased Treasury yields to a new 2014 low this week as falling oil prices and economic worries overseas made headlines.
According to figures released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.80 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending December 18, down 13 basis points from last week's survey. Last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.47 percent.
"Mortgage rates fell along with 10-year Treasury yields, which closed at their lowest level since May 2013," said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac.
The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.09 percent (0.6 point), dropping 11 basis points week-over-week.
Adjustable rates also tumbled this week, averaging 2.95 percent (0.5 point) for the 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) and 2.38 percent (0.4 point) for the 1-year ARM.
Meanwhile, finance site Bankrate.com recorded the 30-year fixed rate at an average 3.94 percent, the lowest level in 19 months "as the global economic jitters and plunging oil prices of recent weeks culminated in a Russian currency crisis" and drove investors to Treasuries.
The 15-year fixed, meanwhile, was down to 3.21 percent, matching the 5/1 ARM.
While discussions at the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates had U.S. financial markets nervous on Wednesday, the central bank made clear that any increase won't happen for at least a few more months.
"This, along with the ongoing concerns surrounding the global economy, should keep mortgage rates in check as we move into the New Year," Bankrate said.