Pressure on mortgage rates eases

Fed chairman says unemployment remains a concern

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After climbing for two weeks in a row, mortgage rates reversed course this week, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans again below 4 percent after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke voiced worries about persistently high unemployment.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 29, down from 4.08 percent last week and 4.86 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.87 percent during the first three weeks of February.