Mortgage rates break records again

Demand for purchase loans 'extremely low'

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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.