By Julie Haviv
NEW YORK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - U.S. 30-year and 15-year mortgage rates either tied or reached record lows in the latest week, according to a survey released on Thursday by Freddie Mac, the second-largest U.S. mortgage finance company.
While rock-bottom rates offer a glimmer of hope for a housing market struggling to find footing in the aftermath of the expiration of popular home buyer tax credits, their impact on home loan demand has been tepid. A weak jobs market and flailing economy continue to weigh on consumer confidence.
Interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the most widely used loan, averaged 4.32 percent for the week ended Sept. 30, down from the previous week's 4.37 percent and matching a record low set earlier in the month, according to the survey.
Rates were also below their year-ago level of 4.94 percent. Freddie Mac started the survey in April 1971.
Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.75 percent, down from 3.82 percent last week, the lowest since Freddie Mac began surveying this loan type in 1991.
"Confidence in the state of the economy fell among consumers and businesses, which led to a decline in long-term bond yields and brought many mortgage rates to record lows this week," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.
Mortgage rates are linked to yields on Treasuries and yields on mortgage-backed securities.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)