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Real Estate

2012 ends with lowest average rates in 65 years

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage last week dipped closer to the lowest rates on record.

Freddie Mac, a company that purchases mortgages, reported the average rate on a 30-year loan declined to 3.35 percent from 3.37 percent last week. That's not far from the 3.31 percent rate of about a month ago, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 2.65 percent. The record low is 2.63 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.66 percent this year, Freddie Mac reported, the lowest annual average in 65 years.

Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said the average 30-year rate has fallen 0.6 percentage points this year. That would save a homeowner about $98,000 in interest payments over the life of a $200,000 loan, he said.

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