Mortgage rates generally fell the week that ended Thursday, with the average 30-year fixed rate reaching the lowest level in at least 38 years, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey.

"Interest rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the fifth consecutive week to an all-time low while the average rate on five-year [adjustable-rate mortgages] hovered near its record set in the previous week," Freddie chief economist Frank Nothaft said.

Treasury yields have fallen recently. Mortgage rates tend to follow those yields.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.71%, down from the previous week's 4.78% average and 5.53% a year ago.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were 4.27%, down from the previous week's prior low of 4.29% and 5.77% a year earlier. Freddie has tracked 15-year rates since 1991.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaged 4.19%, up from the previous week's record low of 4.18%, but were down from 5.77% a year earlier.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were 4.25%, their lowest level since June 2005, down from 4.35% the previous week and 5.02% a year earlier.

To obtain the rates, the 30-year mortgage required payment of an average 0.7 point, while the rest required an average 0.6 point. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.

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