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Average US rate on 30-year mortgages falls to 3.76 percent; 15-year loan down to 2.99 percent


WASHINGTON — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell sharply this week amid concern over a labor market that has shown recent signs of weakness.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.76 percent from 3.85 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 2.99 percent from 3.07 percent.

Rates have stayed below 4 percent for 11 straight weeks. This week's decline brought rates to levels far below last year's levels. A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage rate was 4.19 percent while the rate for 15-year loans was 3.36 percent.

A government report issued last Friday showed that U.S. hiring slowed sharply in September, and job gains for July and August were lower than previously thought.

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