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US Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Levels On Record

A number of US mortgage rates fell to their lowest levels on record this week, according to a weekly survey released Thursday from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. The average for a 30 year, fixed rate loan during the week, Freddie said, was 3.91 percent, the lowest since Freddie began tracking the 30 year mortgage in 1971. Two weeks ago, the 30 year matched a record low average set last fall. Based on today's rates, borrowers are spending an average of $1,200 less per year on a $200,000 loan than those who bought at the beginning of the year.

The 30 year wasn't the only mortgage type to fall to record low last week, as the 15 year fixed matched an all-time low of 3.21 percent set the prior week. Last year at this time, the 15 year was averaging 4.15 percent. Five year, treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, fell from 2.86 percent to 2.85 percent last week, and 3.75 percent last December; while 1 year ARMs averaged 2.77 percent, down from 2.81 percent during the prior week and 3.4 percent a year ago.

In calculating the averages, Freddie Mac conducts a survey of mortgage lenders across the nation between Monday and Wednesday each week, then issue the results on Thursday. The record low rates seem to be having an impact on sales, as both existing and new home sales showed promising increases in November, and construction, a key component of housing due to its domino effect on other parts of the economy, is rising as well.

December 23, 2011

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