Industry NewsMortgage

Economic worries keep lid on mortgage rates

Rates at or near record lows for fourth week in a row

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A weekly survey of lenders by Freddie Mac showed mortgage rates at or near record lows for a fourth consecutive week amid growing expectations that Europe is headed for a recession that will slow U.S. growth.A separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed applications for purchase loans jumped to the highest level since August, but demand remained below levels seen at the same time last year.Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Nov. 23, down from 4 percent last week and 4.4 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hit a 2011 high of 5.05 percent in February, before plummeting to an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.94 percent during the week ending Oct. 6.Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.3 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.31 percent last week and 3.77 percent a year ago. The 15-year loan, a popular re...