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Mortgage rates fall again to record lows

(MoneyWatch) Maybe the Fed's latest attempt to push down mortgage rates is working -- fixed rates are matching or hitting new record lows this week according to data from Freddie Mac released Thursday.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) matched its all-time record low, and the 15-year FRM fell to a new record low.

Rates for the week ending Sept. 20, 2012 are as follows:

  • 30-year FRM averaged 3.49 percent, down from last week's average of 3.55 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.09 percent.
  • 15-year FRM averaged 2.77 percent, down from last week when it averaged 2.85 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.29 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.76 percent this week, down from last week's average of 2.72 percent. One year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.02 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61 percent this week, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.82 percent.

"Following the Federal Reserve's announcement of a new bond purchase plan, yields on mortgage-backed securities fell bringing averaged fixed rates to their all-time record lows which should aid on the ongoing recovery," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, at Freddie Mac.

The news comes on the heels of Wednesday's housing numbers which showed housing starts up month-over-month in August, and up 29 percent from one year ago.

Existing home sales also rose in August, increasing 7.8 percent from July.

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