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Mortgage rates near record lows

By Associated Press
September 4, 2009

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WASHINGTON - Rates for 30-year home loans edged down this week, remaining close to record lows reached over the spring.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.08 percent, down from 5.14 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said yesterday. Rates, while above the record low of 4.78 percent hit in the spring, are still at attractive levels for people looking to buy or refinance.

To revive the economy, the Federal Reserve is spending $1.25 trillion on mortgage-backed securities, which has driven down rates on home loans. That money is set to run out by winter, though some analysts expect the central bank to gradually scale back its purchases, allowing the program to last longer.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.54 percent, from 4.58 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.

Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.59 percent, down from 4.67 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 4.62 percent from 4.69 percent. The rates do not include add-on fees known as points.