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Mortgage rates remain low to begin year


Mortgage rates were low to start the year.

Mortgage interest rate averages remained near record-low levels to start the year, which may make homebuying a more affordable option for some consumers.

During the week ending January 3, rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.34 percent, according to a report from Freddie Mac. This was slightly lower than the previous week's average of 3.35 percent.

A slight decline also occurred for 15-year FRMs, as the figure for that week was 2.64 percent, the government-sponsored enterprise's Primary Mortgage Market Survey explained. This was lower than the previous week's figure of 2.65 percent.

"Mortgage rates started the year near record lows which should continue to aid the ongoing housing recovery," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. "New home sales rose in November to a two-year high and were up 15.3 percent from the previous November."

Despite the low mortgage rates, home loan applications fell markedly during the final two weeks of December. This may have been due to a typical housing market slowdown at the end of the year. Overall, mortgage applications dropped 21.6 percent during the week ending December 28, compared to two weeks earlier.

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