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Mortgage Rates Slam Into New Holiday Lows

Interest rates for mortgage loans slammed into new lows just before a holiday break, with investors hewing close to the safety of U.S. Treasury debt.

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Finance Web site ""Bankrate.com"":http://www.bankrate.com/ and mortgage company ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ released their findings in separate weekly surveys.

Freddie found the 30-year loan falling to 3.91 percent this week, the lowest this year, as it rocketed past a previous rock-bottom rate of 3.94 percent. Bankrate.com meanwhile found the 30-year fixed-mortgage reaching a second all-time low for the week, as rates for the loan ticked up from 4.19

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percent to crest at 4.20 percent.

The 15-year loan remained the same for both Bankrate.com and Freddie, which found theirs at or near record lows of 3.42 percent and 3.21 percent, respectively.

""This greater affordability helped push existing home sales higher for the second consecutive month in November to an annualized pace of 4.42 million, the most since January,"" ""Frank Nothaft"":http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie, said of the figures in a statement.

For 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), Freddie saw averages of 2.85 percent, down from 2.86 percent last week, and 2.77 percent, down from 2.81 percent last week, respectively.

Bankrate.com observed 3.18 percent, down from 3.21 percent, for interest rates on the ARMs.

""Mortgage rates haven't moved much since the beginning of November, and the holiday lull in mortgage rates seems likely to continue for another week amid low volume in financial markets,"" Bankrate.com added in a statement. ""The puzzles of the European debt crisis and the state of the U.S. economy won't be solved - and won't change appreciably - in the coming week.""

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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