(Updates with 15-year rate in second paragraph.)
June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell for an eighth week, reducing borrowing costs as unemployment reached the highest level this year.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan declined to 4.49 percent in the week ended today from 4.55 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That’s the lowest since Dec. 2. The 15-year rate slipped to 3.68 percent from 3.74 percent a week ago, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage-finance company said.
Demand for homes is restrained by stricter lending standards and high unemployment. U.S. companies in May added the fewest jobs in eight months, Labor Department data showed, sending down the 10-year Treasury yields that guide some consumer loans, including mortgage rates. Unemployment unexpectedly ticked up to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in April.
Declining borrowing costs are encouraging homeowners to reduce their monthly payments. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s measure of refinancing rose 1.3 percent in the week ending June 3. The Washington-based group’s purchasing gauge dropped 4.4 percent.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan is below where it was last year at this time, when it was 4.72 percent, according to Freddie Mac. It fell to a record 4.17 percent in November.
--Editors: Christine Maurus, Kara Wetzel
To contact the reporter on this story: Prashant Gopal in New York at Pgopal2@bloomberg.net.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at email@example.com