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Mortgage rates fall to lowest level in three years

Mortgage rates slipped slightly last week, causing the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) to fall to the lowest level in three years. That's according to the latest Freddie Mac survey, which showed that for the week ending May 12, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.57 percent with an average 0.5 point. That's down from the previous week when it averaged 3.61 percent and a year ago when the 30-year averaged 3.85 percent. Here's a peek at a couple other options:

  • The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.81 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.86 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.07 percent.
  • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.78 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.80 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.89 percent.

Economists attribute the latest decline to a disappointing April employment report, which kept a lid on Treasury yields.

Want to sell your house faster and for more money? Add barn doors

Selling a house and trying to catch the eyes of as many buyers as possible? Best strategy is to tout certain features, which apparently can help sell houses faster and for more money, according to national search of house listings by Zillow.  What they found is that house listings with "barn door" in the listing description captured the highest premium, selling for 13 percent above expected and 57 days faster.

Listings with other top keywords included shaker cabinets, which sold for 9.6 percent more than expected,  farmhouse sinks sold for 7.9 percent more than expected and those with subway tiles sold for 6.9 percent more than expected. Listings that mentioned "quartz” sold for 6 percent more than expected.