Mortgage Rates Tip Lower Still

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WASHINGTON – Long-term mortgage rates declined near the lowest level on record this week, according to Freddie Mac.

The average for the 30-year loan slipped from 4.79% last week to 4.72% this week, just above the 40-year low of 4.71% of last December. The average for the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 4.17% from 4.20%.

ARM rates also moved lower, with the average for the five-year ARM declining from 3.94% to 3.92%; and the average for the one-year ARM moving from 3.95% to 3.91%, the lowest since May 2004.

Investors, wary of the European debt crisis and the turbulent stock market, have shifted money into the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds. That has pushed down the interest rate, or yield, on U.S. Treasury debt. Fixed mortgage rates tend to track that yield.

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