30-year mortgage rate sinks to 4.32%

Associated Press / October 1, 2010

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WASHINGTON — Rates on 30-year mortgages have matched the lowest level in decades, while rates on 15-year loans dropped to their lowest point in nearly 20 years.

Yesterday, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate for 30-year fixed loans fell to 4.32 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1971. That’s down from 4.37 percent the previous week.

The average rate on 15-year fixed loans fell to 3.75 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1991.

Rates have been at or near the lowest levels in decades since spring as investors poured money into the safety of Treasury bonds, lowering their yield.

Also, Congress has extended a policy that allows homeowners in pricey real estate markets to secure government-backed mortgages of nearly $730,000.

Lawmakers voted to keep the maximum size of loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration at the current level through the end of 2011.