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Mortgage Rates Remain Near Record Lows as Europe Wavers

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered at 3.63 percent this week, up from record lows last week, with debt crises in Europe continuing to scare investors and drag down prospects for a steady economic recovery.

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Real estate Web site ""Zillow"":http://www.zillow.com/ found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 3.63 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. The 15-year home loan averaged 2.93 percent, while rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages reached 2.54 percent.

Rates for 30-year loans waxed and waned across much of the rest of the country, gaining the most by 14 basis points in Florida.

""Mortgage rates remained historically low during the past week as continuing concerns about eurozone economic stability offset the positive tone G8 leaders set with a united commitment to support

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growth in that area,"" ""Erin Lantz"":http://www.zillow.com/profile/Erin-Lantz/, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said in a statement.

She added that the company expects rates to remain ""fairly flat"" as Memorial Day nears.

While fleeing investors keep mortgage rates historically low, analysts say that Europe overwhelmingly remains a sore spot for the slowly recovering U.S. economy.

Even with the ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ reporting Tuesday that median prices for existing homes climbed 10.1 percent year-over-year in April, the Paris-based ""Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development"":http://www.oecd.org/home/0,2987,en_2649_201185_1_1_1_1_1,00.html (OCED) released an outlook that found the euro zone crisis could hamper progress across the global economy.

""With slow growth, high unemployment and limited room for [maneuver] regarding macroeconomic policy space, structural reforms are the short-run remedy to spur growth and boost confidence,"" OECD Secretary-General ""Angel Gurr├âãÆ├é┬¡a"":http://www.oecd.org/document/55/0,3746,en_2649_201185_35768574_1_1_1_1,00.html said in a statement.

The outlook found that business and household confidence remains tepid across much of Europe, with more adversity on the horizon for tight financial markets and near-term growth for the continent.

The OECD recommended that European Union leaders enact comprehensive structural reforms to increase growth and competitiveness, put together a firewall to seal off debt contagion, and make better use of European Central Bank balance sheets.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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