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30-year mortgage rates sink, match record low

McLEAN, Va. – Nov. 30, 2009 – Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell last week, matching a record low set last spring and more than a full percentage point below what they were a year ago, Freddie Mac said Wednesday.
View original article Rates for 30-year mortgages averaged 4.78 percent last week, down from 4.83 percent the previous week and equaling the record low reached the week of April 30.

Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 5.97 percent.

Interest rates began dropping last November, when the Federal Reserve began spending $1.25 trillion to buy up mortgage-backed securities in an effort to lower rates, loosen credit availability and bolster the long-suffering housing market.

Since April, rates have hovered near 5 percent, spurring refinance activity. However, credit standards remain stringent, so the best rates usually are available only to borrowers with solid credit and a 20 percent down payment.

Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages are now 0.8 percentage points below this year’s peak set in mid-June. The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.29 percent, down from 4.32 percent the previous week, according to Freddie Mac. The 15-year rate hasn’t been this low since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991.

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