WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Mortgage rate dropped sharply last week in the United States, as homebuyers may have an opportunity window to buy in the housing market, the U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, said on Thursday.
For the week ending on Jan. 10, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) in the United States dropped to 4.45 percent from previous week's figure of 4.51 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
For the same period a year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.99 percent, according to Freddie Mac.
"Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in nine months, and in response, mortgage applications jumped more than 20 percent," said Sam Khater, chief economist of Freddie Mac.
"Lower mortgage rates combined with continued income growth and lower energy prices are all positive indicators for consumers that should lead to a firming of home sales," Khater added.
Freddie Mac also said that 15-year FRM this week dropped to 3.89 percent, which was lower than previous week's reading of 3.99 percent. For the same period a year ago, the figure was 3.44 percent.
Freddie Mac is a corporation founded by the U.S. Congress, aiming at promoting the stability and affordability in the U.S. housing market by purchasing mortgages from banks and other loan makers. The corporation has been conducting weekly surveys on U.S. mortgage rate since April 1971.