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Housing Gains Foothold as Mortgage Rates Dip

The third week of July brought news of more mortgage rate lows, according to ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/.

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The GSE found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.53 percent (0.7 point), down from 3.56 percent from the past week and 4.52 percent from the year before.

In all of 2012, the average 30-year home loan has only scaled to 4 percent or higher for one week.

The average 15-year mortgage for the week was 2.83 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.86 percent

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the week before and 3.66 percent at the same time in 2011.

This week marks the eighth consecutive week that the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3 percent.

The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also fell, averaging 2.69 percent (0.6 point), a drop from 2.74 percent last week. The 1-year ARM saw no changes, hovering at 2.69 percent (0.4 point).

""Frank Nothaft"":http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie Mac, explained how the low rates are aiding in the housing market's recovery.

""With little signs of inflation and the Federal Reserve's ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôOperation Twist' keeping U.S. Treasury bond yields in check, fixed mortgage rates are remaining low and helping to stir the housing market,"" said Nothaft.

""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/ also posted new record lows, with the 30-year home loan falling to 3.78 percent from 3.79 percent from the week before.

According to the finance Web site, the 15-year mortgage averaged 3.04 percent, inching down from 3.05 percent.

Meanwhile, the average 5-year and 1-year ARM rate fell to 2.89 percent, down from 2.95 percent.

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