30-year mortgage rate dips to 4.50 percent

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week amid signs the economic recovery is slowing.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.50 percent from 4.57 percent last week.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 3.54 percent from 3.59 percent last week.

The retreat in the average rate of a 30-year mortgage comes just a couple of weeks after the rate reached a two-year high of 4.58 percent Aug. 22. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage also hit a two-year high – 3.60 percent – that day. Overall, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards.

Long-term mortgage rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke first signaled that the central bank could begin reducing its monthly $85 billion in bond purchases this year if the economy looked strong enough.

– The Associated Press