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Mortgage rates hit 4-year low

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Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at a four-year low this week after a government report of massive layoffs in November pushed bond yields down, Freddie Mac reported. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.47 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 11, down from 5.53 percent last week and 6.11 percent a year ago. The rate hasn't been lower since March 25, 2004, when it averaged 5.4 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.2 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 5.33 last week and 5.78 percent a year ago. "Following the release of the November employment report, which showed the largest monthly decline in jobs since December 1974, bond yields fell slightly this week allowing fixed-rate mortgage rates room to ease back a little further," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Rates on adjustable-rate mortgages, however, headed in the opposite direction. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybri...