Mortgage rates halt 6-week slide

Demand for purchase loans highest in 6 months

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Mortgage rates finally found a bottom this week, following six consecutive weeks of declines, but remained near record lows as worries about the European debt crisis continue to make bonds that fund most mortgages look like a safe bet to investors.

Rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.71 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 14, up from 3.67 percent last week but down from 4.5 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Last week’s rate for 30-year loans was an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971.