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by CareyBot

Mortgage rates are hovering not far above record lows set during the first week in October, but demand for purchase loans hit a low last week not seen since 1996, surveys of lenders show.Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.11 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Oct. 20. That's virtually unchanged from 4.12 last week, and not far above the all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.94 percent set during the week ending Oct. 6. Rates on the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage were at 4.21 percent this time a year ago, before climbing to a 2011 high of 5.05 percent in February.For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 3.38 percent with an average 0.8 point, essentially unchanged from 3.37 ...