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Mortgage rates hit record lows

Mortgage rates hit record lows (by Ruth Mantell)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - With persistent investor concerns over European debt, mortgage rates hit record lows in the week ending Sept. 15, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.09% -- these data go back to 1971 - from 4.12% in the prior week, according to the buyer of residential mortgages. A year ago, the rate was at 4.37%. "Continued investor concerns over the state of the European debt markets kept U.S. Treasury bond yields low and allowed mortgage rates to ease once more this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, in a statement. "By refinancing into today's 30-year fixed mortgage, homeowners could shave almost $1,715 a year in interest payments on a $200,000 loan." Meanwhile, the average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also hit a record low, declining to 3.30% in the latest week from 3.33% in the prior week. These data go back to 1991. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.99% from 2.96%. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM also hit a record low, declining to 2.81% from 2.84%. These data go back to 1984.