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Published: Friday, 8/19/2011

30-year mortgage rates at lowest point since 1971

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS REPORTS

WASHINGTON — The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its lowest level on records dating to 1971.

The rate on the most popular mortgage dipped to 4.15 percent from 4.32 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Its previous low of 4.17 percent was reached in November. The last time long-term rates were lower was in the 1950s, when 30-year loans weren’t widely available. Most long-term home loans lasted 20 or 25 years.

Five years ago, the average 30-year fixed rate was near 6.5 percent. In 2000, it exceeded 8 percent.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage, which is popular for refinancing, fell to 3.36 percent, also a record low. It’s the third straight week of record lows for the popular refinancing option.

Freddie Mac’s records date to 1991, but analysts believe the new low on the 15-year mortgage is the lowest ever.



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