NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Mortgage rates continued to decline this week, plunging to the lowest level in decades, according to surveys from Freddie Mac and Bankrate.
Freddie Mac's weekly report said the 30-year fixed rate slipped to 4.44% for the week ended Thursday, the lowest since the government-backed lender began tracking the rate in 1971. Last week's rates stood at 4.49%, and a year ago it was at 5.29%.
The 15-year fixed rate fell to 3.92% this week, the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking it 1991, down from 3.95% last week and from 4.68% a year ago.
Adjustable-rate mortgages also declined, with the 5-year rate falling to 3.56% this week, the lowest since 2005 when the lender began tracking it.
Mortgage tracker Bankrate.com, which surveys large lenders across the country, said the average 30-year fixed loan sank to a record low for the fourth consecutive week, falling to 4.57% from 4.66% the previous week.
The 15-year fixed rate, which is a popular option for refinancing, also fell to the lowest level in the history of Bankrate's 25-year old survey, dipping to 4.06%, from 4.11% the week before.
While the 1-year adjustable-rate mortgage held steady at 4.8% for a fourth week, the 5-year adjustable rate mortgage dropped to a record low of 3.92% from 3.95% the previous week.
"Low rates are helping to heal many battered local housing markets by increasing home-purchase activity, said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.84%||3.85%|
|15 yr fixed||2.87%||2.92%|
|30 yr refi||3.89%||3.96%|
|15 yr refi||2.96%||3.02%|
Today's featured rates:
These two fantasy football players won more than $100,000 on FanDuel and DraftKings earlier this NFL season. Now they sound off on the cheating scandal rocking the industry. More
A new analysis from the Bipartisan Policy Center estimates the U.S. Treasury will not be able to pay all the country's bills in full and on time sometime between Nov. 10 and Nov. 19. More
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has increased his stake in Twitter, days after the social network named Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO. More
Smarties, a Halloween candy staple, have been around for 66 years. Three Millennial women are revolutionizing it. More
The city council of the District of Columbia is weighing a new proposal that would mandate up to 16 weeks of paid family leave for family bonding or a serious personal or family medical issue. More