Turmoil in financial markets has investors fleeing to the relative safety of bonds and mortgage-backed securities, pushing down mortgage rates to at or near historic lows.
Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.39 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Aug. 4, down from 4.55 percent last week and 4.49 percent a year ago, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 4.17 percent during the week ending Nov. 11, 2010, before climbing to a 2011 high of 5.05 percent in February.
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.54 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.66 percent last week and a 2011 high of 4.29 percent in February. That's a new all-time low rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans in records dating to 1991.