US mortgage rates fall from 3-month high

. Adobe Stock

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates slipped this week from the highest level since July and remain at historically low levels that are helping would-be purchasers to buy homes.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.69 percent from 3.78 percent last week. That’s also down more than a full percentage point from a year ago, when it was 4.94 percent.

Lower rates are helping support the housing market. Sales of existing homes rose nearly 4 percent in September from a year ago, while new-home sales have soared 16 percent during that time. Yet potential home buyers still face a shortage of available homes, which is pushing prices higher.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage fell to 3.13 percent this week from 3.19 percent a week ago.

Subscribe to the Globe’s free real estate newsletter — our weekly digest on buying, selling, and design — at Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @globehomes.