Mortgage rates probe new lows

Eight out of 10 loan applications are for refis

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Mortgage rates plunged to new all-time lows this week as investors in bonds that fund most home loans reacted to news that the economy grew more slowly than expected during the last three months of 2011.

Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.87 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending Feb. 2, down from 3.98 percent last week and 4.81 percent a year ago. That’s a new all-time low in Freddie Mac survey records dating to 1971.