Mortgage rates break records again

Demand for purchase loans 'extremely low'

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reports that mortgage rates set new record lows this week, as concerns over the European debt crisis and a weak U.S. employment report for August sent investors fleeing to the relative safety of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities that fund most home loans.

But a separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed demand for purchase loans remaining "at extremely low levels" last week, close to lows last seen in 1996.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.12 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Sept. 8 — a new low in records dating to 1971, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s down from 4.22 percent last week and a 2011 high of 5.05 percent in February.