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Mortgage rates plummet to record lows as economy wobbles

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Mortgage rates fell sharply this past week, hitting record lows, as bond yields declined and signs of a weakening economy dampened consumer sentiment further, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit its lowest level of 2011, coming in at 4.39% compared to 4.55% last week and 4.49% a year ago. The 15-year FRM hit a historic low of 3.54%, down from 3.66% last week and 3.95% last year. In addition, 5-year, adjustable-rate mortgages also reached a historic low of 3.18%, down from 3.25% last week and 3.63% last year. The only mortgage rate that rose is the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM, which hit 3.02%, up from 2.95% last week and down from 3.55% last year. Bankrate also said mortgage rates plunged to a nine-month lows as a flurry of economic worries increased the odds of a double-dip recession. The firm said these worries "had investors flocking into the safety of U.S. Treasury securities — their safe-haven status assured — which fueled the decline in mortgage rates." Based on Bankrate's analysis, the 30-year FRM fell to 4.54%, down from 4.74% a week earlier. The 15-year FRM and 5/1 ARM fell to 3.83% and 3.34%, respectively. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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