Mortgage rates plumb new depths

Economic fears have investors snapping up bonds, MBS

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Mortgage rates moved deeper into uncharted territory this week, as fear of a double-dip recession prompted investors to flee to the relative safety of long-term bonds and other conservative investments, including mortgage-backed securities that fund most mortgage lending.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.36 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Aug. 26, down from 4.42 percent last week and 5.14 percent a year ago. That’s a low in records dating back to 1971, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday.