30-year mortgage falls to 4.12 pct., record low

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Fixed mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest levels in decades. But few Americans can take advantage of the rates to refinance or buy a home.

Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.12 percent, down from 4.22 percent. That’s the lowest rate on records dating back to 1971.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, fell to 3.33 percent from 3.39 percent. That’s the lowest on records dating to 1991 and likely the lowest ever, according to economists.

Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which fell to an all-time low this week.

Still, cheap mortgage rates haven’t helped home sales. They fell in July for the third time in four months.