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Mortgage rates near historic lows for third straight week

Demand for purchase loans down 9.5% from a year ago

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Mortgage rates were little changed this week, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at or near 4 percent for the third week in a row, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Nov. 17, essentially unchanged from 3.99 percent last week and close to the all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.94 percent seen during the week ending Oct. 6. At this time a year ago, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.39 percent before climbing to a 2011 high of 5.05 percent in February.Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.31 percent with an average 0.7 point, little changed from 3.3 percent last week and close to an all-time low in records dating to 1991 of 3.26 percent seen during the first week of October. At this time a year ago, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.76 percent, before climbing to a 2011 high of 4.29 perce...