Average interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell this week to the lowest level since early last year. The average declined to 7.43%, down from 7.47% a week earlier, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. It is the lowest since the week ended March 7, 1996, when the rate averaged 7.38%. So far this year, the average's peak was 8.18% during the week ended April 3, after the Federal Reserve Board tightened monetary policy. It has been declining as Wall Street traders are becoming increasingly confident there is little immediate prospect of accelerating inflation. Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for people refinancing mortgages, averaged 6.98% this week, down from 7.01% a week earlier, and the lowest since the week ended Dec. 5. On one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 5.54% this week, down from 5.55% last week. The rates do not include add-on fees known as points.