Uncertainty, QE3 push mortgage rates to new lows

Demand for purchase loans rebounding after Hurricane Sandy

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With U.S. lawmakers heading toward the edge of the "fiscal cliff," government-backed mortgage bonds that fund the vast majority of home loans are looking like a safe haven for investors, helping push mortgage rates to new lows.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Nov. 15, down from 3.4 percent last week and 4 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.